Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2454742 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2454742
(54) English Title: SYSTEM AND PROCESS FOR GATHERING, RECORDING AND VALIDATING REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPUTER APPLICATIONS
(54) French Title: SYSTEME ET PROCEDE PERMETTANT DE RASSEMBLER, D'ENREGISTRER ET DE VALIDER DES EXIGENCES POUR DES APPLICATIONS INFORMATIQUES
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • G06F 17/21 (2006.01)
  • G06F 9/44 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • MARTIN, MAURICE (United States of America)
  • BRICKLEY, STEPHEN (United States of America)
  • AMDOUR, LEON (United States of America)
  • KRAVETS, ALEX (United States of America)
  • FAN, BRIAN (United States of America)
  • INFANTE, DOMINIC (United States of America)
  • LARKING, STUART (United States of America)
  • ALDAMA, PAUL (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • IRISE (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • IRISE (United States of America)
(74) Agent: FETHERSTONHAUGH & CO.
(74) Associate agent: FETHERSTONHAUGH & CO.
(45) Issued: 2011-03-08
(86) PCT Filing Date: 2002-07-26
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 2003-02-06
Examination requested: 2007-07-11
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
60/308,052 United States of America 2001-07-26

English Abstract




The system includes a novel software application (82) operative to use the
modeling language to create, read and modify interactive representation models
of the proposed applications, a memory (86) to store requirement data and
interactive representation model data, a software application (92) operative
to read and update the interactive representation model data across a computer
network, a software application (76) operative to maintain a record of the
requirements and to administer operation of the system, a software application
(78) operative to render interactive representations of the proposed
applications in browser readable format, a software application (82) operative
to allow multiple instances of other applications to access interact
representation data and requirement data residing in the memory and a software
application (84) operative to allow an individual user's interactions with the
system to be broadcast across a networked system to other users.


French Abstract

Cette invention concerne un système comprenant : une nouvelle application logicielle (82) pouvant utiliser le langage de modélisation pour créer, lire et modifier des modèles de représentation interactive des applications proposées ; une mémoire (86) servant à stocker des données relatives aux exigences ainsi que des données de modèle de représentation interactive ; une application logicielle (92) pouvant lire et mettre à jour les données de modèle de représentation interactive dans un réseau informatique ; une application logicielle (76) pouvant mettre à jour un enregistrement des exigences et administrer le fonctionnement du système ; une application logicielle (78) pouvant convertir des représentations interactives des applications proposées en un format lisible par un navigateur ; une application logicielle (82) permettant à de multiples instances d'autres applications d'accéder à des données de représentation interactive et à des données relatives aux exigences se trouvant dans la mémoire ; et une application logicielle (84) permettant aux interactions avec le système d'un utilisateur individuel d'être diffusées sur un système en réseau à d'autres utilisateurs.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


133

THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION IN WHICH AN EXCLUSIVE
PROPERTY OR PRIVILEGE IS CLAIMED ARE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:


1. A method of providing a user with a programming environment for
programming of a simulation of a computer application, the method
comprising:

displaying on a computer display a programming area comprising one
or more graphical representations of one or more primitives for
programming of the simulation of the computer application;

receiving control indications from the user to arrange the one or more
primitives to program the simulation;

displaying on the computer display a requirements area comprising one
or more requirements, wherein the programming area and the
requirements area are displayed at the same time;

associating the one or more primitives with the one or more
requirements such that a primitive displayed in the programming area
is visually associated with a displayed requirement of the requirements
area; and

storing one or more associations among the one or more primitives and
the one or more requirements.


2. The method as defined in Claim 1, further comprising displaying an
association between a primitive and a selected requirement by highlighting
one or more primitives associated with the selected requirement.


3. The method as defined in Claim 1, further comprising displaying an
association between a requirement and a selected primitive by removing one
or more requirements from display that are not associated with the selected
primitive.


134

4. The method as defined in Claim 1, further comprising displaying the
programming area, displaying the requirements area, and associating the one
or more primitives with the one or more requirements using a computer
program with a consistent user interface.


5. The method as defined in Claim 1, further comprising:

monitoring a position of a cursor in the computer display, where the
position of the cursor is manipulated by a pointing device;

receiving an indication of a selection of a requirement in the computer
display by the pointing device;

receiving an indication of a selection of a primitive in the computer
display;

receiving an indication to create an association between the selected
requirement and the selected primitive; and

associating the selected requirement and the selected primitive.

6. The method as defined in Claim 1, further comprising:

monitoring a position of a cursor in the computer display, where the
position of the cursor is manipulated by a pointing device;

receiving an indication of a selection of a requirement in the computer
display by the pointing device;

receiving an indication of a selection of a primitive in the computer
display;

receiving an indication to remove an association between the selected
requirement and the selected primitive; and

removing the association between the selected requirement and the
selected primitive.


135

7. The method as defined in Claim 1, wherein the one or more requirements
corresponds to one or more statements or to one or more portions of a
statement regarding a desired behavior of the computer application.


8. The method as defined in Claim 1, wherein at least one of the primitives
simulates computation available in the computer application.


9. The method as defined in Claim 1, wherein at least one of the primitives
simulates storage and retrieval available in the computer application.


10. A method of providing a user with a programming environment for
programming of a simulation of a computer application, the method
comprising:

displaying on an electronic display a programming area comprising
one or more graphical representations of one or more primitives for
programming of the simulation of the computer application;

receiving control indications from the user to arrange the one or more
primitives to program the simulation;

displaying on the electronic display a requirements area comprising
one or more statements, where a statement describes a desired behavior
for a primitive, wherein the programming area and the requirements
area are displayed at the same time;

associating the one or more primitives with the one or more statements
such that a primitive displayed in the programming area is associated
with a displayed statement of the requirements area; and

storing one or more associations among the one or more primitives and
the one or more requirements.


11. The method as defined in Claim 10, wherein at least one of the one or more

statements corresponds to a requirement.


136

12. The method as defined in Claim 10, further comprising displaying an
association between a primitive and a selected statement by highlighting one
or more primitives associated with the selected statement.


13. The method as defined in Claim 10, further comprising displaying an
association between a statement and a selected primitive by removing one or
more statements from display that are not associated with the selected
primitive.


14. The method as defined in Claim 10, further comprising displaying the
programming area, displaying the requirements area, and associating the one
or more primitives with the one or more statements using a computer program
with a consistent user interface.


15. The method as defined in Claim 10, further comprising:

monitoring a position of a cursor in the computer display, where the
position of the cursor is manipulated by a pointing device;

receiving an indication of a selection of a statement in the computer
display by the pointing device;

receiving an indication of a selection of a primitive in the computer
display;

receiving an indication to create an association between the selected
statement and the selected primitive; and

associating the selected statement and the selected primitive.

16. The method as defined in Claim 10, further comprising:

monitoring a position of a cursor in the computer display, where the
position of the cursor is manipulated by a pointing device;

receiving an indication of a selection of a statement in the computer
display by the pointing device;


137

receiving an indication of a selection of a primitive in the computer
display;

receiving an indication to remove an association between the selected
statement and the selected primitive; and

removing the association between the selected statement and the
selected primitive.


17. The method as defined in Claim 10, wherein the one or more statements
corresponds to one or more statements or to one or more portions of a
statement regarding a desired or necessary behavior of the computer
application.


18. The method as defined in Claim 10, wherein at least one of the primitives
simulates computation available in the computer application.


19. The method as defined in Claim 10, wherein at least one of the primitives
simulates storage and retrieval available in the computer application.


20. A computer system that provides a user with a programming environment for
programming of a simulation of a computer application, the computer system
comprising:

a component configured to display on an electronic display a
programming area comprising one or more graphical representations of
one or more primitives for programming of the simulation of the
computer application;

a component configured to receive control indications from the user to
arrange the one or more primitives to program the simulation;

a component configured to display on the electronic display a
requirements area comprising one or more statements, where a
statement describes a desired behavior for a primitive, wherein the
programming area and the requirements area are displayed at the same
time;


138

a component configured to associate the one or more primitives with
the one or more statements such that a primitive displayed in the
programming area is associated with a displayed statement of the
requirements area; and

a component configured to store one or more associations among the
one or more primitives and the one or more requirements.


21. The computer system as defined in Claim 20, wherein at least one of the
one
or more statements corresponds to a requirement.


22. The computer system as defined in Claim 20, further comprising a component

configured to display an association between a primitive and a selected
statement by highlighting one or more primitives associated with the selected
statement.


23. The computer system as defined in Claim 20, further comprising a component

configured to display an association between a statement and a selected
primitive by removing one or more statements from display that are not
associated with the selected primitive.


24. The computer system as defined in Claim 20, wherein the computer system
provides a consistent user interface to display the programming area, display
the requirements area, and associate the one or more primitives with the one
or
more statements.


25. The computer system as defined in Claim 20, further comprising a component

configured:

to monitor a position of a cursor in the computer display, where the
position of the cursor is manipulated by a pointing device;

to receive an indication of a selection of a statement in the computer
display by the pointing device;

to receive an indication of a selection of a primitive in the computer
display;


139

to receive an indication to create an association between the selected
statement and the selected primitive; and

to associate the selected statement and the selected primitive.


26. The computer system as defined in Claim 20, further comprising a component

configured:

to monitor a position of a cursor in the computer display, where the
position of the cursor is manipulated by a pointing device;

to receive an indication of a selection of a statement in the computer
display by the pointing device;

to receive an indication of a selection of a primitive in the computer
display;

to receive an indication to remove an association between the selected
statement and the selected primitive; and

to remove the association between the selected statement and the
selected primitive.


27. The computer system as defined in Claim 20, wherein the one or more
statements corresponds to one or more statements or to one or more portions
of a statement regarding a desired or necessary behavior of the computer
application.


28. The computer system as defined in Claim 20, wherein at least one of the
primitives simulates computation available in the computer application.


29. The computer system as defined in Claim 20, wherein at least one of the
primitives simulates storage and retrieval available in the computer
application.


140

30. A computer system that provides a user with a programming environment for
programming of a simulation of a computer application, the computer system
comprising:

a means for displaying on an electronic display a programming area
comprising one or more graphical representations of one or more
primitives for programming of the simulation of the computer
application;

a means for receiving control indications from the user to arrange the
one or more primitives to program the simulation;

a means for displaying on the electronic display a requirements area
comprising one or more statements, where a statement describes a
desired behavior for a primitive, wherein the programming area and
the requirements area are displayed at the same time;

a means for associating the one or more primitives with the one or
more statements such that a primitive displayed in the programming
area is associated with a displayed statement of the requirements area;
and

a means for storing one or more associations among the one or more
primitives and the one or more requirements.


31. The computer system as defined in Claim 30, wherein at least one of the
one
or more statements corresponds to a requirement.


32. The computer system as defined in Claim 30, further comprising a means for

displaying an association between a primitive and a selected statement by
highlighting one or more primitives associated with the selected statement.


33. The computer system as defined in Claim 30, further comprising a means for

displaying an association between a statement and a selected primitive by
removing one or more statements from display that are not associated with the
selected primitive.


141

34. The computer system as defined in Claim 30, further comprising a means for
displaying the programming area, displaying the requirements area, and
associating the one or more primitives with the one or more statements using a

computer program with a consistent user interface.


35. The computer system as defined in Claim 30, further comprising:

a means for monitoring a position of a cursor in the computer display,
where the position of the cursor is manipulated by a pointing device;

a means for receiving an indication of a selection of a statement in the
computer display by the pointing device;

a means for receiving an indication of a selection of a primitive in the
computer display;

a means for receiving an indication to create an association between
the selected statement and the selected primitive; and

a means for associating the selected statement and the selected
primitive.


36. The computer system as defined in Claim 30, further comprising:

a means for monitoring a position of a cursor in the computer display,
where the position of the cursor is manipulated by a pointing device;

a means for receiving an indication of a selection of a statement in the
computer display by the pointing device;

a means for receiving an indication of a selection of a primitive in the
computer display;

a means for receiving an indication to remove an association between
the selected statement and the selected primitive; and

a means for removing the association between the selected statement
and the selected primitive.




142



37. The computer system as defined in Claim 30, wherein the one or more
statements corresponds to one or more statements or to one or more portions
of a statement regarding a desired or necessary behavior of the computer
application.


38. The computer system as defined in Claim 30, wherein at least one of the
primitives simulates computation available in the computer application.


39. The computer system as defined in Claim 30, wherein at least one of the
primitives simulates storage and retrieval available in the computer
application.


40. A computer-readable medium encoded with instructions for directing a
processor circuit to provide a user with a programming environment for
programming of a simulation of a computer application, the instructions
comprising:

instructions for displaying on an electronic display a programming area
comprising one or more graphical representations of one or more
primitives for programming of the simulation of the computer
application;

instructions for receiving control indications from the user to arrange
the one or more primitives to program the simulation;

instructions for displaying a requirements area comprising one or more
statements, where a statement describes a desired behavior for a
primitive;

instructions for associating the one or more primitives with the one or
more statements such that a primitive displayed in the programming
area is associated with a displayed statement of the requirements area;
and

instructions for storing one or more associations among the one or
more primitives and the one or more requirements.




143



41. The computer-readable medium as defined in Claim 40, wherein at least one
of the one or more statements corresponds to a requirement.


42. The computer-readable medium as defined in Claim 40, further comprising
instructions for displaying an association between a primitive and a selected
statement by highlighting one or more primitives associated with the selected
statement.


43. The computer-readable medium as defined in Claim 40, further comprising
instructions for displaying an association between a statement and a selected
primitive by removing one or more statements from display that are not
associated with the selected primitive.


44. The computer-readable medium as defined in Claim 40, further comprising
instructions for displaying the programming area, displaying the requirements
area, and associating the one or more primitives with the one or more
statements using a computer program with a consistent user interface.


45. The computer-readable medium as defined in Claim 40, further comprising:
instructions for monitoring a position of a cursor in the computer
display, where the position of the cursor is manipulated by a pointing
device;

instructions for receiving an indication of a selection of a statement in
the computer display by the pointing device;

instructions for receiving an indication of a selection of a primitive in
the computer display;

instructions for receiving an indication to create an association
between the selected statement and the selected primitive; and
instructions for associating the selected statement and the selected
primitive.




144



46. The computer-readable medium as defined in Claim 40, further comprising:

instructions for monitoring a position of a cursor in the computer
display, where the position of the cursor is manipulated by a pointing
device;

instructions for receiving an indication of a selection of a statement in
the computer display by the pointing device;

instructions for receiving an indication of a selection of a primitive in
the computer display;

instructions for receiving an indication to remove an association
between the selected statement and the selected primitive; and
instructions for removing the association between the selected
statement and the selected primitive.


47. The computer-readable medium as defined in Claim 40, wherein the one or
more statements corresponds to one or more statements or to one or more
portions of a statement regarding a desired or necessary behavior of the
computer application.


48. The computer-readable medium as defined in Claim 40, wherein at least one
of the primitives simulates computation available in the computer application.


49. The computer-readable medium as defined in Claim 40, wherein at least one
of the primitives simulates storage and retrieval available in the computer
application.

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


CA 02454742 2004-01-22
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1

SYSTEM AND PROCESS FOR GATHERING,
RECORDING AND VALIDATING REQUIREMENTS
FOR COMPUTER APPLICATIONS

Technical Field

The present invention is directed to a system and process for gathering,
recording and validating requirements for computer applications in the fields
of
requirements analysis for computer application development and of computer
application development.
A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material
which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection
to the facsimile reproduction by any one of the patent document or the patent
disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or
records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
Industrial Applicability

The present invention has applicability in the field of design and
development of computer software applications for businesses and other
entities, particularly concerning large, complex systems adapted for networks,
including private networks as well as public networks such as the Internet.

Background Art

With the increasing complexity involved in the development of
computer programs that embody very sophisticated business logic, specification
of the requirements of these programs before they are actually built, i.e.,
programmed into computer readable code is important to timely and cost-
effective production of these systems.
As organizations are forced to do more with less, the need to deliver
such applications on-time and on-budget without sacrificing quality presents a
bigger challenge than ever before. One of the major problems in these fields
is
system definition, i.e., the effective identification of accurate, complete
and
unambiguous requirements for the system or application. This is especially
true
of applications used on the Internet. These applications must meet
requirements


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related not only to graphic design, content and usability, but also related to
complex scenarios of user system interactions that are not complete and
accurate requirements from outset and may not even be documented before
starting the application design.
Traditional software development falls typically into several main
disciplines. The first is known as the "waterfall" software development life
cycle approach. The second approach attempts to improve the effectiveness of
the waterfall approach by introducing prototypes into the development
lifecycle
early in the development cycle. Each of these approaches is associated with
significant problems.
The waterfall approach is a development method that is linear and
sequential. Waterfall development has distinct goals for each phase of
development. Once a phase of development is completed, the development
proceeds to the next phase and there is no turning back. This phase of
development is analogous to the flow of water over a waterfall; it cannot flow
back to the top of the waterfall. In the waterfall design approach, the
requirements gathering phase typically results with capture of requirements on
paper documents. Typically, the system designers generate a paper-based design
from the paper-based requirements. The system developers then interpret the
paper-based design and convert it into executable computer code. Typically,
the
executable code is then delivered to the testers, who then evaluate the code
to
determine if the resulting computer application meets the requirements.
While waterfall development allows for departmentalization and
managerial control, it does not allow for much reflection or revision.
Iterations
of the design process require iterations of the entire process. However, once
an
application is in the testing stage, it is very difficult to go back and
change
something that was not well thought out in the concept stage. Also, typically,
problems are not discovered until system testing, and requirements must be
fixed before the system is designed. Requirements evolution makes the
development method unstable. Often during the design and code writing phases,
requirements inconsistencies, missing system components and unexpected
development needs are discovered. Also, system performance cannot be tested
until the system is almost coded, and under-capacity may be difficult to
correct.


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For these reasons the standard waterfall model has been associated with the
failure or cancellation of a number of large systems.
Known alternatives to the standard waterfall design approach include
modified waterfall approaches that include those that start with a very rough
notion of the system and become more detailed over time, analogous to going
over several smaller waterfalls (spiral waterfall design); and those that
include
overlapping phases and sub-projects (modified waterfalls).
Other known design approaches includes the staged delivery approach,
in which the designer reviews the concept, requirements analysis, and
architectural design phases, and then implements these phases, shows them to
the customer as the components are completed, and then goes back to the
previous phase(s) if needed.
All of these waterfall type approaches suffer from the same or similar
problems, however. The iterative approach through the phases, even when
overlapped, results in static requirements being interpreted into static
designs
and developments. Because the requirements for most systems are not well
understood in the beginning, the costs for development often become excessive
and delivery schedules originally estimated must be revised. Finally, because
complex systems typically are not well understood in terms of their actual
implemented behaviors, it is only through actual interaction with the system
that
the system designers and business analysts truly begin to understand what has
been built. Although the lessons learned may be valuable during waterfall
implementations, they cannot easily be taken advantage of, due to the
prohibitive costs of re-factoring the designs and implementations to reflect
the
new requirements that spring from these lessons.
The second general approach, the prototyping of critical parts of the
application, was developed, partly in response to the problems associated with
the waterfall and modified waterfall approaches. As used herein, the term
prototype, and its variations, in the context of the design of computer
applications means the use of some form or stage of application code, or the
use
of static images to represent computer screen display.
The prototyping of critical parts, referred to sometimes herein as code
prototyping, also was developed in response to awareness in the field of the
invention that software product development tends to move along four paths:


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(1) ideas to product; (2) low technology to high technology; (3) drawings to
code; and (4) appearance and behavior to performance. In the code prototyping
approach, a prototype code is built to test the results of the planning phase,
during which the developers attempt to understand the users and the users'
needs and how those were to be addressed in the software application. The
prototype code is then measured to see how the user reacts and understands the
developers work, and is analyzed to see which parts of the prototype are doing
well and which parts are not. In this prototyping approach, the prototype is
actually code that is intended to accomplish the intended purpose of
designated
parts of the overall software application, and is therefore referred to herein
as a
"coded prototype."
The prototyping approach also has been associated with numerous
problems, foremost among them is that prototypes are typically written in
computer languages that only programmers can understand and use. Thus the
prototypes are still developed as traditional computer programs, by
programmers. This has several drawbacks. The first drawback is that business
analysts, who are the people most likely to understand the needs and desires
for
the computer application, cannot develop the prototype without reliance on
computer programmers, and must translate and communicate these needs and
desires to computer programmers in order to have them construct the prototype.
This communication is traditionally inefficient and translation errors tend to
be
introduced because of the differences in the interpretation of the needs and
desires for the prototype between two constituencies with differing
backgrounds
and skill sets. Second, in many organizations, skilled programming resources
are preferentially assigned to fixing existing computer systems or completing
development of systems that are soon to be placed in production. Thirdly,
programming resources need potentially expensive hardware and software tools
to accomplish their work. Fourthly, because prototypes are frequently
constructed using the same infrastructure that the eventual application will
be
deployed upon, prototyping efforts are frequently delayed until strategic
hardware acquisition, development software acquisition and training have been
completed.


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Yet another problem with prototyped systems is that they tend to
become a replacement for actual development of the envisioned system. There
is a tendency to attempt to field a completed, or near-completed prototype.
Because the programmers were originally building just a subset of the system
5 for demonstration purposes, short cuts typically are taken in this phase
that lead
to systems that do not scale well and have significant performance problems.
Yet another problem with coded prototypes is that they suffer from poor
documentation, often because the prototype and the requirements are not
represented within the same context.

Another problem with coded prototype based developments arises from
the tendency for difficult problems to be pushed to the future, and not solved
by
the time of product completion, so that the initial hope of the prototype is
not
met by the subsequent product.

Because of these limitations, another prototyping approach, referred to
as static prototyping, has evolved. In this approach, only an image of the
user
interface of the prospective computer application is developed. This image may
be created using commonly available drawing and diagramming software, and
may be created without some of the drawbacks associated with employing
programming resources to create a coded prototype. Prototypes created in this
manner, however, suffer from additional drawbacks. Foremost among them is
that such static prototypes created with drawing and diagramming software are
unable to convey to stakeholders an understanding of or how the application
will behave. Prototypes constructed in this manner do not exhibit many of the
interactive behaviors of computer applications,, e.g., navigation from screen
display to other screen display, computation, storage and retrieval of data.
They
are therefore referred to as "static image prototypes" herein. It is commonly
known in the field of the current invention, that stakeholders are much more
apt
to identify potential errors or omissions in the early phases of software
development if they are permitted to interact with a prototype that does
exhibit
these interactive behaviors.
To summarize the forgoing discussion of background art; coded
prototypes suffer from drawbacks derived from the need to utilize computer


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programmers in their construction and static image prototypes suffer from
drawbacks derived from the fact that they are inherently not interactive.

In addition, the evolutionary delivery design process, a cross between
evolutionary prototyping and staged delivery, is known.

Within the context of the above described software design approaches,
many systems analysts simply use a pad of paper to record requirements they
gather from the eventual users of the computer program being envisioned for
development. Still other systems analysts use word-processing programs to
write specifications in a prose style. Several design methodologies have
emerged to graphically describe the use of iteration with computer programs,
and how these programs are to be organized internally. Ultimately, these
specifications all coalesce to static representations of the proposed or
prospective computer program that computer programmers must either read on
paper, or read from a computer screen to gain an understanding of what the
systems analysts interpreted what the users meant when they designed the
system. The programmers must then write the code that represents their best
interpretation of what the systems analysts and the users meant when the
static
system specification was created. Finally, after the computer programmers
create the computer software code, it is tested by the systems analysts and
users
to determine if the programmers' interpretation of the system specification
(that
is, in turn, the system analysts' interpretation of the requirements from
users of
the proposed computer system) meets the users' requirements. In complex
systems that must interact with multiple users, playing different roles, and
in
turn interact with multiple other computer programs, also playing different
roles, the probability of interpreting the users' requirements correctly the
first
time is quite remote. This necessitates frequent code changes and
reinterpretations, first by the users, second by the systems analysts and
third, by
the computer programmers. This cycle is repeated until the computer
programmers rewrite the software enough times to embody what the users
require of the system. The reliance on static documents to transfer the
requirements into a correct computer program results in repeated cycles of
development. These cyclic and redundant development activities inflate the
cost
of the resulting system.


CA 02454742 2010-05-26

7
As such, the programmers, at the end of the cycle of research and development
of a large program or system, typically are left to discover all of the
ambiguous,
hidden and conflicting requirements as they actually write software code. This
invariably leads to failures of the code to correctly embody the users'
requirements,
longer development cycles, increased costs and lower quality end products.
In addition, known computer application development approaches typically do
not include input from all of the various stakeholders. Rather, it is
generally business
managers who determine the need for the application, and then business
analysts
translate these needs into the domain specific jargon appropriate to the
problem being
solved, and finally the computer programmers translate the business domain
information into executable code. This serial process leads to
misunderstandings,
unresolved issues and misconceptions.

Finally, another problem with known software application development
approaches is that software testers are provided with only a document for use
in
developing quality assurance and acceptance tests, and acceptance testing can
occur
only at the end of the development cycle. This is an additional source of
delay and
problems because the quality assurance engineers are then required to conduct
there
own interpretation of all of the prior development work.

Summary of Invention
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method
of providing a user with a programming environment for programming of a
simulation of a computer application. The method involves displaying on a
computer
display a programming area comprising one or more graphical representations of
one
or more primitives for programming of the simulation of the computer
application,
receiving control indications from the user to arrange the one or more
primitives to
program the simulation, and displaying on the computer display a requirements
area
comprising one or more requirements. The programming area and the requirements
area are displayed at the same time. The method also involves associating the
one or
more primitives with the one or more requirements such that a primitive
displayed in
the programming area is visually associated with a displayed requirement of
the


CA 02454742 2010-05-26

7a
requirements area, and storing one or more associations among the one or more
primitives and the one or more requirements.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method
of providing a user with a programming environment for programming of a
simulation of a computer application. The method involves displaying on an
electronic display a programming area comprising one or more graphical
representations of one or more primitives for programming of the simulation of
the
computer application, receiving control indications from the user to arrange
the one or
more primitives to program the simulation, and displaying on the electronic
display a
requirements area comprising one or more statements, where a statement
describes a
desired behavior for a primitive. The programming area and the requirements
area are
displayed at the same time. The method also involves associating the one or
more
primitives with the one or more statements such that a primitive displayed in
the
programming area is associated with a displayed statement of the requirements
area,
and storing one or more associations among the one or more primitives and the
one or
more requirements.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, there is provided a
computer system that provides a user with a programming environment for
programming of a simulation of a computer application. The computer system
includes a component configured to display on an electronic display a
programming
area comprising one or more graphical representations of one or more
primitives for
programming of the simulation of the computer application, a component
configured
to receive control indications from the user to arrange the one or more
primitives to
program the simulation, and a component configured to display on the
electronic
display a requirements area comprising one or more statements, where a
statement
describes a desired behavior for a primitive. The programming area and the
requirements area are displayed at the same time. The system also includes a
component configured to associate the one or more primitives with the one or
more
statements such that a primitive displayed in the programming area is
associated with
a displayed statement of the requirements area and a component configured to
store
one or more associations among the one or more primitives and the one or more
requirements.


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7b
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, there is provided a
computer system that provides a user with a programming environment for
programming of a simulation of a computer application. The computer system
includes provisions for displaying on an electronic display a programming area
comprising one or more graphical representations of one or more primitives for
programming of the simulation of the computer application, provisions for
receiving
control indications from the user to arrange the one or more primitives to
program the
simulation, and provisions for displaying on the electronic display a
requirements area
comprising one or more statements, where a statement describes a desired
behavior
for a primitive. The programming area and the requirements area are displayed
at the
same time. The computer system also includes provisions for associating the
one or
more primitives with the one or more statements such that a primitive
displayed in the
programming area is associated with a displayed statement of the requirements
area.
The computer system also includes provisions for storing one or more
associations
among the one or more primitives and the one or more requirements.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, there is provided a
computer-readable medium encoded with instructions for directing a processor
circuit
to provide a user with a programming environment for programming of a
simulation
of a computer application. The instructions include instructions for
displaying on an
electronic display a programming area comprising one or more graphical
representations of one or more primitives for programming of the simulation of
the
computer application, instructions for receiving control indications from the
user to
arrange the one or more primitives to program the simulation, and instructions
for
displaying a requirements area comprising one or more statements, where a
statement
describes a desired behavior for a primitive. The instructions further include
instructions for associating the one or more primitives with the one or more
statements such that a primitive displayed in the programming area is
associated with
a displayed statement of the requirements area, and instructions for storing
one or
more associations among the one or more primitives and the one or more
requirements.


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8

With reference to Figure 1, the overall process of a preferred mode of
the present invention is shown at 50, including its requirements gathering,
recording and validation steps. Upon starting the process, initial
requirements
for a proposed or prospective computer software implemented application are
collected at 52. The computer application that is intended to be developed and
deployed based on the requirements and an interactive representation generated
using the present invention, is referred to alternatively as the proposed
application, the prospective application, the intended application and the
subject
application.
The requirements are then recorded in an electronic requirements
repository or memory, shown at 54. Next an initial interactive representation
model, sometimes referred to as an IRM, of the prospective application is
created at 56. In the course adding creating the initial interactive
representation
model at 56, associations between requirements and elements of the interactive
representation may be recorded in an electronic repository or memory. Then the
interactive representation model and the requirements, along with their
associations between them, may be reviewed at 58. During the course of
reviewing the interactive representation and requirements at 58, requirements
may be added and associated to elements of the interactive representation.
Following the review at 58 a determination is made at 66 on whether the
interactive representation model and the requirements are sufficiently
complete.
If they are sufficiently complete, then they are provided as outputs of the
process at 68, which serve as inputs for generation of the actual code for the
prospective application. If they are not sufficiently complete, then the
requirements are modified at 60 and/or the interactive representation model is
modified at 62. In the course adding to and/or modifying requirements at 60 or
when modifying and/or adding to the interactive representation model at 62,
associations between requirements and elements of the interactive
representation may be recorded in the electronic repository or memory.
The term user(s) and the term stakeholder(s) herein refer collectively
and individually to persons who participate in the process of the present
invention and/or utilize the software components of the present invention. The
term user(s) include(s), but is not limited to business analysts, programmers,
project managers, business managers and users of the prospective or subject


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9

application. The term user(s) also means (1) individuals who will use, or are
intended to use the subject application once it has been developed and
deployed; and/or (2) individuals who represent the proposed application users
in
the process of the present invention, particularly with respect to
communicating
their needs and desires relative to the behavior of the prospective
application.
For example, when gathering and validating the requirements for a subject
application that will be used by the general public, for example, a retail
internet
application for the sale of books or compact disks, it is unlikely that a
significant number of the subject application's eventual users, the general
public, will be available to participate in the process of the present
invention.
Instead, marketing representatives, product mangers and similar individuals
would act as proxies or surrogates for the subject application's end users.
Thus,
as used herein, the term proposed application user(s) refers to both the true
user(s) of the subject application, as well as to those acting as their
proxies.

As used herein the term requirement(s) refers to a statement or portion
of a statement regarding the desired or necessary behavior of a prospective or
subject computer implemented software application or a set of proposed
applications. A collection of one or more requirements is a subset of the
information that is typically provided to computer programmers and typically
enables them to develop a computer application. For example, a subset of the
requirements for a retail internet application might include the following
requirements:

1. "The system shall require the user to enter the user's zip code
before allowing the user to submit the user's order."

2. "The order entry page shall have the corporate logo in the upper
left corner."

3. "If the user has ordered more than US$50.00 worth of qualifying
merchandise during the previous three months, adjust the shipping cost of all
items that are domestically sourced to the lower of USD$15 or 50% of the
standard shipping cost."

The initial requirements for the subject application are recorded at 54
and subsequently modified or added to at 60 by business managers, business


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analysts, programmers and subject application users. Within this context an
advantageous feature of the present invention is its ability to enable
multiple
users to view and edit the requirements over a computer network.
Another advantageous feature of the present invention is its ability to
5 enable flexible definition of a classification structure for the
requirements and
assignment of each requirement to one or more of these classifications. For
example, different classifications could include "order management
requirements," "technical requirements" and "requirements from external
clients." Another advantageous feature of the present invention is its ability
to
10 designate the e-mail addresses of other users and interested parties such
that any
change to the electronic record of the requirements causes an e-mail to be
sent
to each address to notify the recipient of the change. Also, the present
invention
provides the ability to establish the value of several attributes of the
requirements. For example, "type," "subtype," "priority," "status" and
"assigned to" attributes may be established. Other advantageous features of
the
present invention include its ability to record electronic discussions
regarding
the requirements; its ability to store and retrieve various electronic
documents
with each requirement; and its ability to produce on-screen or printed reports
of
the requirements. Still other advantageous features of the present invention
include its ability to record defect reports and tasks related to
requirements. In
this context a defect report includes statements regarding incorrect or
undesirable behavior of the prospective application, that can optionally be
tracked in the present invention after providing the outputs of the invention
at
68 to individuals involved in the development and deployment of the.
prospective application. In this context tasks refer to an optional record of
activities to be performed, or activities that have been performed by users
during the course of the use of the invention. These functions are provided by
a
software application that is part of the present invention. This application
is
programmed, preferably, in Java language and provides requirements
management functionality for the preferred implementation of the present
invention.
A feature of the overall process is creation of an interactive
representation, sometimes referred to as IR, and/or an interactive
representation
model, sometimes referred to as an IRM, of the prospective application. For
the


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purposes of the present invention, the term interactive representation means
(1)
a simulation of the behavior of a prospective application that is used to
review
conformance of behavior to the desired or necessary behavior of the
prospective
application before it is developed and deployed; or, (2), the result of
interpreting
and executing an IRM. The IRM is an executable set of computer data that
defines how an IR behaves. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention,
this computer data is stored in terms of fundamental units, referred to as
"primitives," or rules, and relationships among these rules that are permitted
by
an interactive representation modeling language, sometimes referred to herein
as "IRML." More specifically, IRML refers to a language created as part of the
present invention, and used in the embodiments of the invention to specify the
behavior of an interactive representation. That language is represented in
terms
of the fundamental rules, or primitives that are used to create and execute
interactive representations. As used herein, the term primitive refers the
most
basic, indivisible unit in a language, specifically including the IRML used in
the
present invention and its alternate embodiments. A list of preferred IRML
primitives for preferred embodiments is provided in Table II.
One or more users create the initial IRM at 56, and modify and/or add to
the IRM at 62 through various mouse and keyboard gestures understood by one
of the software components of the present invention, as will be described in
detail. Using this software, referred to as "Studio," a user defines the
appearance and behavior of an interactive representation by (1) adding IRML
primitives to the IRM; (2) setting their attributes, and in some cases, their
location; and (3) establishing relationships between and among these IRML
primitives, as will also be described in detail. The requirements for the
prospective application are then associated to the primitives in the
interactive
representation. Each association is recorded in a single, electronic system of
record. Examples of activities that can be performed by a user during creation
of the initial interactive representation model at 56 or modifying and/or
adding
to the interactive representation model at 62 include:

1. Initiating the "Studio" computer program component. The
process of creating the interactive representation begins with a user
initiating a
computer application component referred to as "Studio." Once the user has


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been authenticated to this component the user selects a particular proposed
application on which to work. An advantageous feature of the present invention
is that the requirements that were previously recorded at 54, 58 or 60 appear
on
the screen presented by the Studio software component of the system and
provide useful information to the user as the user proceeds with building or
creating the interactive representation model, as well as the ability to
record
associations between these requirements and elements with the IRM.

2. Initially defining the user interface of the IRM. In initially
defining the user interface of the IRM, the user reviews the requirements
previously recorded at 54, 60 or 58 and then, through various mouse and
keyboard sequences, instructs the Studio software component to perform certain
pre-designated functions such as add (1) pages; (2) forms; (3) tables; (4)
text
inputs; (5) buttons, and other functions or components to the interactive
representation model. Throughout the use of various mouse and keyboard
gestures, the user may define the relative positioning of various user
interface
components and their containment within other user interface components.
Within the context of the present invention the term containment refers to the
relationship between two primitives that effects the manner in which the
contained primitive is treated by a software component of the system referred
to
as the "simulator." One of these two primitives is referred to as a container
primitive and the other as a contained primitive. Containment, as used herein,
is
conceptually derived from, and causes behaviors similar to the nesting of
HTML tags in a conventional HTML document. For example, a "text input"
primitive may be contained in a "table cell" primitive. The simulator software
component of the present invention renders this relationship by generating
HTML, with an HTML tag equivalent to the "text input" nested within the
HTML tag equivalent to the "table cell", as will be described in detail below.
When the HTML tag equivalent is interpreted by a browser, the text input
appears graphically within the table cell. The containment relationship among
primitives also implies the association between various user interface
components and the user interface component "form," and is used by the
simulator software component to extract values submitted in a form, and to
package them into data tokens.


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The user may also define attributes effecting the appearance and
behavior of these various user interface components in the interactive
representation. Alternatively, users may choose to specify very minimal
information regarding the appearance of the subject application, and focus
instead on later steps in this process. The process of creating the user
interface
of the IRM continues until the user has defined one or more pages that are
intended to represent the user's understanding of the desired or needed
behavior
of the subject application.

The Studio software component enables the user to request that the
interactive representation be displayed by the simulation software component
at
any time. This is also an advantageous feature of the present invention
because
in permits users to review the work done to date and/or to evaluate the extent
to
which the interactive representation reflects the users' interpretation of the
requirements. In accordance with the principles of the present invention, it
is
intended that users will iteratively modify the IRM and review its compliance
with the requirements through use of the simulator component of the invention,
as will be described in detail hereinafter.

3. Subsequently defining the user interface flow of the IRM. Once
preliminary compliance of the user interface components with the requirements
has been reached, the user subsequently can define the user interface flow of
the IRM by connecting various primitives in ways that define the user
interface
flow of the interactive representation and, hence, the intended user interface
flow of the proposed application. This task typically involves (1) selection
of a
user interface primitive, such as an image, text or button; (2) selecting a
destination "page" primitive; and (3) choosing a menu option labeled
"connect." An advantageous feature of the present invention is its capability
to
interpret the user's intention to designate the user interface flow of the
application simply because of the types of primitives they have chosen to
connect, and without further specification of a user's intention to designate
user
interface flow. During this activity of defining the user interface flow of
the
IRM the Studio software component of the system continues to support
viewing of requirements and of the dynamic display of the interactive
representation. Another advantageous feature of the present invention is its


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ability to enable the user to designate several potential pages at a
particular
point in the user interface flow. This function is accomplished through use of
a
"decision" primitive. Through various mouse and/or keyboard gestures, a user
(1) connects a user interface component to a primitive called "decision" in
the
preferred embodiment; (2) connects the decision to one or more potential
pages; and, (3) connects another primitive to the decision using the system's
"data flow" function, as described below in detail. These actions cause the
simulator software component of the system to display one of the potential
pages during review of the interactive representation and requirements shown
at 58 in Figure 1, and as described in greater detail below. This display is
based
on the value of the data flow function at the time the interactive simulation
is
rendered. Hence, the user is provided with structure and functioning
components of the system of the present invention to define different
behaviors
of the model, with the behaviors being contingent on data values present at
the
time the interactive representation is rendered.

4. Defining additional behaviors in the IRM. Subsequent to
defining the user interface and user interface flow of the IRM, the user may
then specify other behaviors of the IRM. These other behaviors, include, by
way of example, and not by way of limitation, such functions as the capture,
storage and retrieval of data. Through use of various mouse and keyboard
gestures, the user may connect user interface components to primitives
referred
to as "actions" in the preferred embodiment. Actions generally correspond to
functions or behaviors that are common among known computer programs, for
example the action labeled "data create" causes the IRM to store some
specified data for later retrieval by an action labeled "data find."
Similarly,
actions are provided in the preferred embodiment for string manipulation,
sorting lists of data and simple mathematical functions. A list of these
preferred
actions is provided as part of Table H. In the preferred embodiment each
action
takes zero, one or many input parameters and provides zero, one or many
outputs. These inputs and outputs are connected, using the Studio component,
to other actions or user interface components, and these connections are
referred to as "data flow" connections. By connecting the outputs of an action
to the inputs of another action, users are enabled by the present invention to


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define complex manipulation of data in the IRM. An advantageous feature of
the present invention relative to this process is that the definition of such
complex behavior in the IRM does not require knowledge or use of a computer
language.

5 It might appear that the presentation of the process for developing an
IRM as described herein implies a progression from user interface definition
to
user interface flow definition, and only then to definition of more
complicated
behavior of the IRM. However, another advantageous feature of the present
invention is that it enables these activities to occur, to varying degrees, as
will
10 be described in detail below, in any order in the overall system, as
desired by
the users. Furthermore, the activities described in this process may be
distributed among multiple users, working collaboratively on one or more
IRMs. Furthermore, in other implementations of the present invention, one or
more of such activities may be omitted from the process without significant
15 impact on the efficacy of the process. For example, the activity of
defining
additional behaviors in the IRM may be omitted if the users conclude that the
requirements and interactive representations are sufficiently complete to
express
the users' needs and desires. With respect to the above functions, another
advantageous feature of the present invention is the ability of its Studio
software component to enable the user, through a series of simple mouse
movements, to record an association between one or more requirements and one
or more primitives that have been added to the IRM. Similarly, the Studio
software component enables the display of associations that have been
previously defined.
Yet another advantageous feature of the present invention is the
capability of the Studio software component, working in concert with the Music
software component, to enable multiple users to collaboratively and
simultaneously work on the same IRM. In the preferred embodiment of the
present invention, several users may utilize individual copies of the Studio
component on different computers, and in the context of the present invention
each individual copy is referred to as an "instance" of the Studio.
Modifications
to the IRM made by one user working with that user's instance of the Studio
are
seen by other users working with their instances of the Studio on a near real-


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time basis. Furthermore, these changes are immediately visible to any user who
is executing the IRM. As would be evident to a person skilled in the art, this
near real-time capability constitutes another advantage of the invention
relative
to computer systems in which users must publish the results of their work to
other users or computer systems in which users must actively retrieve the
results
of others' work. For example, consider two users Jon and Stephen, working
collaboratively and simultaneously on the creation of a single IRM. As Jon
adds
new primitives to the model using his instance of the Studio component,
Stephen's instance of the Studio program displays the new primitives on a near
real time basis. Unlike many known computer systems, Jon does not need to
instruct his instance of the Studio to update Stephen's instance, nor does
Stephen need to request the latest IRM from Jon's instance. As used herein the
term collaboration, and its variations, refer to the shared creation of two or
more
individuals with complementary skills by their interacting to create a shared
understanding of a proposed software application that none had previously
possessed or could have created alone. The goal of collaboration is the
creation
of value resulting from interactions among the collaborators. Collaboration,
as
thus defined, and as enabled by the system and process of the present
invention,
enables near real-time access by all collaborators. Thus, in accordance with
the
principles of the present invention the IRM serves as both a model and as a
guide or "road map" for identifying and reducing ambiguity that arises during
creation of a proposed software application before it is coded or deployed.

Similarly, changes to the requirements made by the ION or Studio
software components are reflected in all other instances of ION and the
Studio.
This dynamic sharing of requirements and IRM information facilitates effective
communication between all users of the system and contributes to higher
quality requirements and IRMs. Furthermore, this dynamic sharing of
information, coupled with the feature of a single electronic record of the
requirements and IRM of a particular subject application, reduces the need for
users to maintain and reconcile multiple copies of the same information.
The next step in the overall process of the present invention is the
review of interactive representation and requirements, shown at 58. In this
step,
the interactive representation of the subject application, in conjunction with
the


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associated requirements, may be reviewed iteratively by business managers,
business analysts, programmers, and proposed application users. In the
presently most preferred embodiment or mode of practicing the invention, two
activities are available for accomplishing this task: simulation and
simulcasting,
as will be described in detail below.
Simulation is an activity that begins when a user executes an interactive
representation model by choosing the "simulate" menu item in the ION
software component or the "simulate" menu item in the Studio software
component. This choice causes the simulator component of the present
invention to render the selected page of the IRM to the user's browser. As
referred to in the present invention, the term simulator means a software
component of the present invention that renders an interactive representation
of
a proposed application and related requirement information based on an
interactive representation model and associated requirement information.
The simulator initially provides a list of the pages in the application to
the user. The user then chooses the page at which they would like to simulate
and calls the simulator again. Upon receiving the request for this page, the
simulator creates a temporary memory area to build a response to the user's
request. The simulator then "visits" the primitive that represents the page
requested by the user and processes that primitive along with all of the
primitives contained by that page. As it "visits" primitives, the simulator
incrementally builds up its response. Some primitives are used to display
variable data to users, and for each of these primitives, the simulator starts
a
separate process to determine the values of these variables. Once all the
necessary primitives have been "visited' and their corresponding portion of
the
response has been appended to the response, the response is sent back to the
user. Typically, the user then enters data and clicks on a button or link to
submit
this data for processing. The simulator receives this submission and extracts
the
values entered by the user into the fields that were presented to them. It
then
passes these values to primitives in the IRM that call standard sub-routines
that
process the data, and, in turn, pass the results of such processing on to
other
sub-routines for further processing. This continues until all processing is
complete, at which point the simulator begins construction of the response to
the user in the same way it constructed the user's first request for a page.
Once


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completed, the simulator passes its response to the user, and waits for
another
request. This process repeats until the user has completed their interactive
representation session.

Another advantageous feature of the present invention is its capability to
display the requested page in a certain format referred to as "Meta" mode. In
Meta mode the requirements associated to the primitives contained on the page
through use of the Studio software component are displayed on the user's
browser in addition to display of the page itself. Furthermore, each of the
primitives that is visually represented on the page is automatically assigned
a
reference number, and each of the requirements displayed is cross referenced
to
these numbers. In the present invention, this display of the IRM page and the
cross-referenced requirements is referred to as "requirements in context".
This
feature of the present invention is intended to facilitate each user's
understanding of the requirements and to significantly increase the likelihood
of discovery of erroneous or incomplete requirements at this stage of the
overall process. In addition, preferred embodiments of the present invention
provide the capability to produce a report that contains the image of the
page,
the automatically assigned cross-reference numbers and the cross-referenced
requirements.

Simulation continues as the user, though mouse and keyboard gestures,
interacts with the interactive representation. For example, the user may enter
text into text inputs presented in the interactive representation, or may
click
buttons presented in the interactive representation. Each of these
interactions is
then communicated by the user's browser to the simulator software component.
The simulator software component then evaluates each interaction and
responds by rendering a new page to the users browser, with the new page
including the result of each interaction. In this way, the user is presented
with
an experience very similar to what would be experienced if that user were
interacting with the completed proposed application. This capability is also
advantageous because it greatly increases the likelihood of discovering
erroneous or incomplete requirements at this stage of the overall process.


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The simulator software component also provides, as yet another
advantageous feature, a capability for the user to enter newly discovered
requirements directly into the user's browser during simulation, and for these
requirements to be stored by the ION software component into the repository of
requirements for the subject application.

As used in describing the present invention, the term simulcasting refers
to an activity that is identical to that of simulation, but with the following
differences. When simulcasting, an individual user's interaction with the IRM
through the simulator is broadcast to other users. The individual user whose
interaction is broadcast is referred to as the lead user. The users viewing
the
interaction are referred to as following users. This provides another way in
the
present invention to review interactive representations and requirements, as
shown at 58. Furthermore, the simulcastor software component provides the
capability for a following user who is viewing the interaction broadcast
through
the to temporarily initiate each such user's own interaction with the IRM and,
at a time chosen by the lead user, to be returned to the broadcast simulation.
In
the preferred implementation this capability is provided by the simulcastor.
The
simulcastor is a software program application implemented using Java
language in an applet framework. Alternatively, known, commercial web-
casting applications, such as for example, Web-Ex, could be used to provide
this or similar functionality. The preferred embodiment, however, is
advantageous relative to this alternative because the preferred embodiment
does not require purchase or configuration of additional software, nor does it
require additional training for effective use.

In the next step of the overall process 50 of the present invention the
user, or several users determine if the requirements and the IRM are completed
sufficient at 66 to warrant proceeding to providing outputs to design and
delivery of the actual code for the prospective application at 68.

If the requirements and/or the IRM of the proposed application is
determined to be incomplete, the process of the present invention enables the
user to modify and /or add requirements at 60 and/or to modify and/or add to
the IRM at 62. As used herein, the terms incomplete or insufficiently
complete,
when used in reference to requirements or the interactive representation, by


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way of example, and not by way of limitation, refer to instances where either
the requirement or interactive representation does not accurately represent
the
needs and/or desires of the users regarding the behavior of the prospective
application, or when changes to the interactive representation or requirements
5 could better communicate to the designers and developers the intended
behavior of the application.

The actions taken at 62 are operationally the same as the combination of
actions taken at 52 and at 54, with one difference. The difference is that in
the
case of step 60, users edit the previously described requirements to increase
10 conformity with the needs and/or desires of the users and/or by adding
newly
discovered requirements.

The actions taken at 62 are operationally the same as those at 56, with
one difference. The difference is that the users modify or add to the
interactive
representation model to increase conformity with the needs and/or desires of
15 the users.

The process then proceeds to step 58, review interactive representation
and requirements, and subsequently to step 68 in which, again, a determination
is made on whether the requirements and/or the interactive representation
model are sufficiently complete.

20 When the interactive representation model and the requirements are
sufficiently complete, the process proceeds to provide outputs to design and
delivery at 68. These outputs are used by the individuals involved in the
design,
programming, testing and deployment of the proposed application as a
description of the needed and desired behavior of the proposed application.
This step preferably includes utilizing the ION software component of the
invention to generate various reports that can then be provided to
programmers,
designers, architects, testing personnel and others involved in the actual
development and/or deployment of code for the proposed application.

These reports are the result of yet another advantageous feature of the
present invention, i.e., the ability of the ION software component, working in
conjunction with the simulator software component to generate such reports,


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21
such as a functional specification report. An example of such a report is
shown
in Figures 11-14, described below. This report depicts a visual image of the
appearance of a page or pages in the IRM as well as a list of requirements
that
are associated with user interface components that appear on the page or
pages.
Furthermore, the functional specification report automatically provides a
numerical cross-reference between the user interface components and their
associated requirements. In practical application of the present invention,
steps
58, 66, 60 and 62 occur iteratively, as the requirements and IRM incrementally
approach completion. Another advantageous feature of the present invention is
that (1) this iterative process results in better communication between and
among users regarding the needs and desires of the users relative to the
subject
application, and (2) changes made in steps 60 and 62 are immediately recorded
such that step 58 can occur within seconds of steps 60 and 62.

Also, in practical application of the principles of the present invention,
users may elect to begin the process at step 56, when it is believed that the
user(s) has/have sufficient knowledge regarding the needs and/or desires for
the
subject or prospective application to begin at this step in the overall
process.

Brief Description of Drawings
Various objects, features and attendant advantages of the present
invention are described in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in
which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout
the several views, and wherein:
Figure 1 depicts the overall process of a preferred mode of practicing,
i.e., a preferred embodiment the present invention.
Figure 2 depicts the overall software components of the Figure 1 mode
of the present invention, and their interaction.
Figure 3 depicts the operation of the software component of the Figure 1
mode that enables the user to read, create and modify interactive
representation
models of the present invention.


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22
Figure 4 depicts the processing of the software component of the Figure
1 embodiment that enables interactive representations of prospective
applications.
Figure 5 is schematic diagram representing primitives in an interactive
representation model of the Figure 1 embodiment
Figure 6 is a depiction of an interactive representation of the interactive
representation model of Figure 5.
Figure 7 is a flow diagram of process form submit algorithm of the
Figure 1 embodiment.
Figure 8 is a flow diagram of the push mode of the data flow visitation
algorithm.
Figure 9 is a flow diagram of the pull mode of the data flow visitation
algorithm.
Figure 10 is a default screen of a preferred embodiment of the present
invention.
Figure 11 is an example of the interactive representation page section of
the functional specification report of the preferred embodiment of the present
invention. Figure 12 is an example of the requirements section of the
functional
specification report of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 13 is an example of the control flow section of the functional
specification report of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 14 is an example of the data flow section of the functional
specification report of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 15 is another example of the interactive representation page
section of the functional specification report of the preferred embodiment of
the
present invention.Figure 16 is another example of the requirements section of
the functional specification report of the preferred embodiment of the present
invention
Figure 17 displays an example of a requirement inventory report of a
preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figures 18 and 19 display examples various reports of a preferred
embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 20 displays a page of the interactive representation of the
preferred embodiment of the present invention in Meta mode.


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23
Figure 21 displays a page of the interactive representation of the
preferred embodiment of the present invention in Clean mode.

Figures 22 and 23 display an examples of usage of a dynamic table of a
preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 24 displays an example of use of an action primitive of a
preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 25 displays an example of the use of a decision primitive in
boolean modeof a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 26 displays an example of use of a decision primitive in integer
mode of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 27 displays an example of use of a constant as an input to an
action of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 28 displays an example of a use of a comment of a preferred
embodiment of the present invention.
Figures 29 through 36 display examples of icons for use in a preferred
embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 37 displays an example of use of the property editor feature of a
preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 38 displays an example of use of the project browser feature of a
preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 39 is a display of an example of an icon for use in a preferred
embodiment of the present embodiment.
Figure 40 is a display of an example of an IRM that accepts and saves
data.
Figure 41 is a display of an example of an IRM that checks a password.
Figure 42 is a display of an example of an IRM that displays a list of
retreived data.
Figure 43 is a display of an example of an IRM that displays a list of
retreived data and allows updating of that data.

Mode(s) for Carrying Out the Invention


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Overview of Software Components and Their Interaction

One preferred embodiment of the current invention includes several
software components. These components and their interaction are described in
this section, with reference to Figure 2. The software components of the
present
invention may stored, individually or collectively on any computer-readable
medium, such as, by way of example, including but not limited to conventional
hard disks, CD-ROMS, Flash ROMS, nonvolatile ROM, RAM and floppy
disks.

A standard browser (such as, preferably, Microsoft Internet Explorer
70) is used to present the user interface of the ION component 76 of the
present
invention, as well as the user interface to the simulator component 78 of the
present invention. The browser 70 and ION component 76 interact over a
computer network 72 utilizing a TCP/IP and HTTP or HTTPS communication
protocols 74. Similarly, the browser 70 and the simulator 78 interact over the
computer network 72 utilizing TCP/IP and HTTP or HTTPS74. The browser
component runs on a computer system 80, typically referred to as a client
computer.

The ION component 76 of the present invention is used to edit
information regarding requirements, defect reports and tasks, and information
regarding administration used for the operation of the present invention, such
as
user names and passwords.

The simulcastor component 64 runs within a standard browser (not
depicted in Figure 2) and is used to present the interactive representation to
multiple users concurrently. The simulcastor component 64 also interacts with
the simulator component 78, over computer network 72 utilizing TCP/IP and
HTTP or HTTPS protocol 74.

The studio component 82 of the present invention is used to edit the
IRM and the requirements, and interacts with the music client component 84.
Communication between these components is implemented through use of
conventional Java method calls. The music client component 84 communicates
with the music server component 92 over computer network 72 utilizing TCP/IP
and HTTP or HTTPS prototype 74.


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The music client component at 84 and 94 of the present invention,
working in conjunction with the music server component 92 of the present
invention provide access to information about the requirements and IRM, as
well as administrative information stored in the repository files 86 to the
ION
5 component 76, the simulator component 78 and the studio component 82.
The music server component 92 mediates the storage and retrieval of
information regarding the requirements, tasks, defect reports and the IRM
among multiple users of this information and reads and writes transactions
reflecting changes to this information to the repository files 86. The music
10 server component also communicates any changes to the information made by
one user, on a near real-time basis, to other users accessing the same
information and provides for grouping of related updates to this information.

The repository files 86 component is a set of computer files, encoded in
and industry standard format called Extensible Markup Language (XML) that
15 contains information regarding the IRM, requirements, defect reports, tasks
and
administrative information used in the operation of the present invention,
such
as user names and passwords. XML offers a flexible format for storing
different
data and other advantages as would be understood by an individual skilled in
the art. The ION, simulator, and music server components, as well as an
20 instance 94 of the music client, run on a computer system 88, typically a
server,
that runs a Severlet and Java Server Page (JSP) container 90. Communication
among these components is implemented through use of conventional Java
method calls.

Alternative embodiments of the preset invention could be implemented
25 through use of a commercially available version of a container, such as
BEATM
WebLogicTM or IBM WebSphereTM containers. However, such alternative
embodiments would require users of the present invention to pay license fees
to
the vendor of those containers.

Another way to describe the role and interaction of the Studio, IRML,
and the simulator in the present invention is to relate each to common
definitions that are familiar to those skilled in the art. The studio can be
considered to be a specialized "editor", used to edit the IRML "language."


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26
IRML is subsequently processed by the simulator, which is similar in function
to an "interpreter." As with other editors, including, for example, text
editors,
integrated development environment editors, and language specific editors, the
studio is used to create and maintain a set of computer instructions, i.e., a
"program", or in the present invention, an IRM, for later execution by another
program or application. IRML, in this context, is a specialized computer
language designed for use by business analysts and other users not familiar
with
traditional computer languages like HTML, JavaTM or C++. The IRML
language is designed to be presented graphically by the Studio, and is another
advantageous feature that permits individuals without programming experience
to create IRM's. Like other interpreters, the simulator is capable of
translating a
language, in this case, IRML into instructions that can be ultimately executed
by a computer, and when so executed, results in the interactive representation
of
the present invention.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, a commercially
available "editor" computer program such as Microsoft NET Studio and/or
a commercially available "interpreter" computer program could be used in place
of the studio and/or simulator respectively. However, these commercially
available computer programs would need to be modified significantly to
provide the ability to associate requirements to elements of the interactive
representation model and to present these requirements in the context of the
interactive representation. Furthermore, this alternative embodiment would
suffer from some of the drawbacks of prior art, with respect to the fact that
commercially available "editors" and "interpreters" are designed for use by
computer programmers. Another disadvantage of this alternative embodiment is
that these commercially available computer programs are not specifically
designed for creation of interactive representation models, but rather for the
development of prospective computer applications, and, therefore, may require
performance of additional costly activities to achieve a similar effect, e.g.,
declaration of variable types, declaration of database record definitions,
specification of deployment configuration and/or installation and
configuration
of additional database management computer programs.


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Similarly, in an alternative embodiment of the present invention, IRML
could be replaced by a single or combination of several existing computer
languages, such as C++, Java or Visual Basic . Because these are general
purpose computing languages, they contain many more primitives and rules for
construction than IRML, and, therefore require additional time and effort in
the
creation of an IRM. Furthermore, this alternative embodiment would suffer
from some of the drawback of prior art, with respect to the fact that
commercially available computing languages are designed for use by computer
programmers.

Detailed Description of Preferred Software Components
With reference to Figures 2-9, preferred, and alternate software
components of the preferred embodiment of the present invention will be
described.

The first software component is a computer program that enables the
user to read, create and modify interactive representation models . Preferably
the program is written in Java language. For convenience this program is
referred to as "Studio" and is shown at 82 in Figure 2. The IRM's in Studio
are
represented in IRML. Figure 3 depicts operation of the Studio component.
Studio implements three high level processes: start up process 96,
process user input 98 and process incoming messages 100.

During the start up process 96 the Studio software calls another software
component of the system, referred to as the Music Client 84 and requests that
an
interactive representation model be retrieved from the server 88 and made
available for reading and modification at 102. Upon successful retrieval of an
IRM, the Studio component 82 displays a visual representation of the IRM as
well as other information about the IRM and enters an await state 104, during
which time it can receive and process either user input 106 or incoming
messages 100.

The Studio program monitors for user input 106 via keystroke or mouse
action. Upon receipt of such information, the Studio program performs a
function, represented at 108 in Figure 3, based on what information was


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received from the user. The following are examples of the functions that the
Studio software performs:

1) Choosing an IRM for viewing or modification.
2) Adding new instances of primitives to the IRM.

3) Modifying the attributes associated with the primitives in the
IRM.

4) Deleting instances of primitives in the IRM.

5) Declaring relationships between primitives in the IRM.
6) Modifying the visual display of the IRM.

7) Declaring relationships between requirements and instances of
IRM primitives.

The Studio program then evaluates whether the requested function is
valid at 110 and, if valid, executes that function 108.

If the function changes the information contained in the IRM, then the
Studio component updates the IRM by calling the Music Client 112 and
updating the electronic record as will be described in greater detail below.
In
some cases, the Studio program makes immediate changes to the screen
displayed to the user that reflect the update at 114. In other cases, the
Studio
program does not make immediate changes, but waits until the music server 92
responds via the music client 84 and then processes the update as incoming
messages are processed, shown at 10.

During processing of incoming messages, at 100, the studio program
receives messages from the local music client whenever a remote music client
updates the IRM via the music server. The Studio program then updates the
screen displayed to the user reflecting the update, shown at 116, unless the
studio program has already made these changes under the process user input
process 98 described above.


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In the preferred embodiment, the studio program is written in Java
language and utilizes some components of the conventional "Swing" and
"AWT" libraries that are part of the Java TM System Developers Kit (Java
SDK). Alternatively, the Studio program could be written in another language,
such as, for example C++, C# or Visual Basic.

The second software component of the preferred embodiment of the
present invention is a computer program used to read and update IRM's stored
on a server computer across a computer network. The term computer network
refers to a private network, usually internal to a company or some other
organization, and also refers to a public computer network, such as the
Internet.
This second software component is, for convenience, referred to as the music
client. The music client preferably is written in Java language. The other
software components of the preferred system of the present invention, i.e.,
the
Studio, ION and simulator programs also use the music client 84 to read and
update IRM's. The music client program also enables changes made to an IRM
by a studio program running on a computer at one user's location to be
transmitted on a near real-time basis to other studio programs that are
running
on different computers. The music client software program that is running on
the same computer as a particular studio software program is referred to as
the
local music client. Music client software programs that are running on other
computers are referred to as remote music clients.

The music client software program implements numerous commands
that relate to reading and updating IRM's. The preferred commands that the
music client of the preferred embodiment processes are listed below in Table
I,
along with a description of the effect of each. The music client software
program can be best understood by a person skilled in the art as the
implementation of an Application Programming Interface (API), which is
shown in Table I. The first column of the table contains Java method calls
that
are supported by the music component, as would be understood by a person
skilled in the art. Commands in this preferred embodiment are provided as
Java method calls. The other software components of the preferred
embodiment of the present invention that use the music client utilize these
commands to access and manipulate information regarding the requirements


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and the IRM. The descriptions of the effect of the commands listed in Table I
below include the terms "Tape" and "Note." Note refers to the basic record
that
the music software program processes, and may contain information about
IRML primitives that are part of the IRM, and may contain information about
5 the IRM itself and/or about requirements. Tape refers to a collection of
notes,
typically the set of notes that collectively comprise a single IRM of a
proposed
application and its requirements.

Table I - Music Client API
2002 iRise, Inc.
Command Description of Effect

public String name() // returns the name of the tape instance
// may return the namespace separator
character '/'

public int index() returns an int representing the index
(current state) of the tape instance
indexes are completely relative with
lesser index(es) representing older
state(s)

public String user() returns the user for the tape instance
public String host() returns the http(s) server host for the
current tape instance

public int port() returns the http(s) server port for the
current tape instance

public String file() returns the http(s) file for the current
tape instance

public String get Property(String name) returns a string property on the tape
instance
public void set Property(String name, sets a string property on the tape
String value) instance

public Note new Note(String type) creates a new Note instance within the
tape instance of the given type

public Note load Note(String key) attempts to find and return a Note
instance with the specified key within
the tape instance


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Command Description of Effect

returns null if key is null or if the
Note cannot be found

public Note[] find (Note. Filter, Note. attempts to find and return an array
of
Sorter sorter Note instances meeting the specified
filter criteria and in the order of the
specified sorter criteria

returns an empty array of notes if no
notes meet the filter criteria

returns all notes in the tape if no filter
is specified

returns notes in any order if no sorter
is specified

public Note[] filter(Note[] notes, Note. Attempts to find and return an array
of
Filter filter) Note instances from the array of input
Note instances meeting the specified
filter criteria

returns an empty array of notes if no
notes meet the filter criteria

returns all notes if no filter is
specified

public Note[] sort(Note[] notes, Note. returns an array of Note instances
Sorter sorter) from the array of input Note instances
in the order of the specified sorter
criteria
returns notes in any order if no sorter
is specified

public boolean stop() stops continuous play if continuous
play is in effect

public boolean play() continuous play where the tape
instance endlessly attempts to receive
all updated transactions

does not block current thread


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Description Command public boolean play(int timeout) single play where the
tape attempts to

receive all updated transactions at the
time of the call

blocks current thread

pauses the tape and resets state of the public boolean jump(int timeout, int
tape to given index index)

public void pause() pauses continuous play
public void pause() pauses continuous play
public void unpause() unpauses continuous play

public boolean register(int timeout) registers the tape with its server and
throws java.io.IOException obtains a unique mask/key generator
public boolean unregister(int timeout) unregisters the tape with its server
and
throws java.io.IOException returns its unique mask/key generator
public void openContextO opens an internal context for batching
transactions

public void closeContext() closes the internal context if one exists
(automatically queued for save)

public boolean save(int timeout) saves all queued internal contexts
public void load(java.io.InputStream parse xml from UTF-8 char stream
is) throws java.io.IOException and execute all transactions from the
given input stream

loaded transactions are not queued
public void save 'ava.io.Out utStream save all queued internal contexts to


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Command Description of Effect

os) throws java.io.IOException xml in UTF-8 char stream

public Note[] parse xml from zip-encoded input
importNotes(java.io.InputStream is) stream and execute all transactions
throws java.io.IOException found

public void exportNotes(Note[] notes, save all queued internal contexts to
java.io.OutputStream os) throws xml in zip-encoded output stream
java.io.IOException

public String[] list(int timeout) list all tape namespaces directly
beneath current tape namespace
namespaces beginning with '_'
are hidden for system purposes
public boolean rename(int timeout, rename the current tape namespace
String name) fails if a tape instance already exists in
the new namespace

public boolean compact(int timeout) Perform compacting of the server xml
transaction log (optimization)

The third software program included in a preferred embodiment of the
present invention is a computer program that provides the capability to allow
multiple, simultaneous studio, ION and/or simulator instances to access IRM's
and requirement data residing in a file on a server. This third program is
referred to as the "Music Server." The Music Server, shown at 92 in Figure 2,
also coordinates transmission of updates made by the studio, ION and/or
simulator programs to other studio, ION and/or simulator programs when they
access the same IRM.

The music server and the music client programs communicate using
Hypertext Transfer Protocol, an industry standard communications protocol,
commonly referred to as HTTP. The music server and the music client can also
communicate using Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, an industry standard
encrypted communications protocol, commonly referred to as HTTPS.

Alternatively, the music server software program could be implemented
using a different computer language, for example C++, C# or Visual Basic,


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each of which is well-known. Similarly, the communication between the music
server and the music client programs could be implemented using another
protocol for program to program communication across computer networks,
such as, for example, Remote Method Invocation (RMI) or Distributed
Component Object Model (DCOM), both of which are well-known to those
skilled in this field.

Alternatively, the functionality provided by the combination of the
music server and music client software programs of the present invention could
be provided through use of a combination of various commercially available
database programs and/or messaging programs. Examples of commercially
available database programs suitable for use in the present invention include
Oracle and SQL Server. Examples of commercially available messaging
programs that are suitable for use in the present invention include MQ Series,
Vittria and Java Messaging Service (JMS).

In another alternative embodiment of the invention, IRM and
requirements data files could be stored on one or more server computers, or
could be distributed across multiple computers that were running studio, ION
and/or simulator, and were utilizing file sharing provided by the computers'
disk operating systems to share this data.
The third software component of the present invention, the interactive
representation modeling language, referred to as IRML, is a language created
for and used in the current invention to specify the behavior of interactive
representations. The language is represented in terms of (1) primitives and
(2)
allowed connections between and among these primitives. The list of IRML
primitives, along with their functions, allowed containment relationships,
allowed outbound connections and allowed inbound connections are presented
in Table II, Table III, Table IV and Table V, respectively, below.

Table II - IRML Prmitives and their Functions
2002 iRise.

Function of the primitives


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Class Primitive Function

User Interface Components - Tags

Break The Break Primitive causes the Simulator to present
a HTML "<BR>" tag to force a visible line break.
This primitive is not accessible as a selection in the
iRise Studio client, it is automatically inserted on
each new line.

Button The Button Primitive causes the Simulator to
present a HTML "button" tag. The Simulator
processes Form submission when a button within a
orm is clicked during the execution of an
Interactive Representation. Subsequently the
Simulator presents the Page to which the Button is
connected. An Image can be used on the button.

Text The Text Primitive will display two different
behaviors during execution of an interactive
representation, depending on whether the Text is
connected with ControlFlow or not. If the text is
connected with control flow, then the Simulator will
present a HTML "a href" tag, making it a clickable
URL in the Simulator. If the Text is not connected
with ControlFlow, then the Simulator will present
plain text.

Image The Image Primitive causes the Simulator to present
a HTML "img" tag. The Simulator will display any
attached graphical image (gif,jpg,jpeg) during the
execution of an Interactive Representation.

User Interface Components - Input Tags


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Class Primitive Function

RadioButton The RadioButton Primitive causes the Simulator to
present a HTML "radio" tag with the value provided
either from user input during Interactive
Representation or defined in the IRM. The
Simulator processes DataFlow connected from a
RadioButton on Form submission during the
execution of an Interactive Representation with the
selected value in the RadioButton being used.

Select The Select Primitive causes the Simulator to present
a HTML "select" tag with the options provided
either from user input during Interactive
Representation or defined in the IRM. The
Simulator processes DataFlow connected from a
Select on Form submission during the execution of
an Interactive Representation with the selected
option in the Select being used.

extArea he TextArea Primitive causes the Simulator to
present a HTML "textarea" tag. The Simulator
processes DataFlow connected to a TextArea on
Form submission during the execution of an
Interactive Representation. The TextArea can
populate with text using inbound DataFlow values
as defined by the user in the IRM.


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Class Primitive Function

extlnput he Textlnput Primitive causes the Simulator to
present a HTML input of "text" tag. The Simulator
processes DataFlow connected to a Textlnput on
Form submission during the execution of an
Interactive Representation. The Textlnput can
populate with text using inbound DataFlow values
as defined by the user in the IRM.

CheckBox The CheckBox Primitive causes the Simulator to
present a HTML "checkbox" tag. The Simulator
processes DataFlow connected to a checkbox on
Form submission during the execution of an
Interactive Representation. The checkbox can
populate with checked or not checked using inbound
DataFlow values as defined by the user in the IRM.
User Interface Components - Container Tags

ConditionalHT The ConditionalHTML primitive is a container that
determines HTML contents to display on execution
of an Interactive Representation, based on the
defined inbound DataFlow value at runtime
(dynamic) or from the IRM (constant/user defined
action). The primitives are contained in a condition
that can be defined (T, F,0,1,2 or user defined) that
is evaluated on execution and outputs the resulting
HTML in the Simulator.

Dynamic Table The Dynamic Table primitive causes the Simulator
to present a HTML table with the number of table
rows determined at execution time, based on the
subject applications IRM and the number of rows of
data matched if the criterion for the contents of the


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Class Primitive Function

Dynamic Table is populating based off data in the
Simulator.

Form he Form Primitive is used to group input
primitives together. When a submission is executed
that is contained in the Form, (example, button or
text linked to control flow is clicked) the Forms
input elements with defined DataFlow (in the IRM)
is executed for the Interactive Representation.

Page The Page Primitive causes the Simulator to present a
HTML page. The name of the page defined in the
IRM causes the Simulator to create the "Title" tag
with the name provided.

Table he Table Primitive is used to group and layout
visual primitives as required. The Table Primitive
causes the Simulator to present a HTML "table" tag

ableCell The TableCell Primitive is used to group and layout
visual primitives as required. The TableCell
Primitive causes the Simulator to present a HTML
"td" tag.

TableRow The TableRow Primitive is used to group and layout
visual primitives as required. The TableRow
Primitive causes the Simulator to present a HTML
"tr" tag.

Comment


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Class Primitive Function

Comment he comment allows a text comment to be defined
in the IRM for the purposes of creating a readable
note in the model. If the comment is connected to a
visual primitive (a instance of which is represented
in HTML at execution), it causes the Simulator to
present an image of a page in a book next to the
connected primitive. This comment text will
display when the mouse cursor is left over the image
for a second. If connected to a non-visual primitive,
the comment can be viewed and edited in the
Studio, but will not show in the HTML output
during Interactive Representation.

Flow Label

Flow Label he flow label primitive is a specialized primitive
used to denote a name for the data that flows
between two other primitives that are connected
using Data Flow.

Decision

Decision he Decision primitive is used to specify different
control flow based on some modeled criteria (in the
IRM), such as user input during the execution of an
Interactive Representation. The possible Decisions
control flows are user defined in the IRM.

References
ModelEntry A single ModelEntry instance is allowed in an IRM
to represent a single ControlFlow entry point into
the subject application model from another calling


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Class Primitive unction

Model.
ModelExit Model Exit represents a single ControlFlow
connection leaving a ModelRef element in the
subject application to be used by another model.

ModelRef ModelRef represents an invocation reference to
another application IRM with the ability to pass and
retrieve data values to the subject application, as
well as the ability to enter and return from the
referenced IRM through ControlFlow connections.
Inbound data values are passed into the subject
application IRM through Modellnput defined in the
referenced IRM. Outbound values are returned from
ModelOutput operations defined in the referenced
IRM. Inbound ControlFlow enters through
ModelEntry element and outbound DataFlow is
represented by ModelExit elements in the
referenced IRM.

Reference The Reference Primitive allows the definition a
Master element, that can then be referred to from
multiple locations on multiple pages within the
subject application IRM. References can refer to all
visual (HTML replaced) Primitives except or
Decisions.

Constant

Constant A Constant allows for non-changeable values to be
defined in the IRM that can be used for statically
populating primitives during execution of an
Interactive Representation. Another use of
Constants is to provide static input values for


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Class Primitive Function

actions.
Action

Data Create The Data Create Action allows for single and
composite DataFlow values to be persistently stored
from an interactive representation of the subject
application. Data Create is equivalent to a single set
of Pack and Save actions. The label on the Dataflow
connection is the name of the composite data it
creates.

Data Delete The Data Delete Action is used to delete single or
composite values from persistently stored data
created during an interactive representation of the
subject application. The label on the Dataflow
connection is the name of the data element and the
input DataFlow value is the actual data to be
deleted.

Data Find The Data Find Action returns the results of
searching the persistently stored data for a subject
application. The inbound DataFlow defines the
criteria, the outbound are the values for the data
found matching the inbound criteria. If no inbound
DataFlow (criteria) is supplied, all values go
outbound. If multiple inbound connections, the find
criteria is the intersection (AND) of these values.


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Class Primitive Function

Data FindOR The Data FindOR Action returns the results of
searching the persistently stored data for a subject
application. The inbound DataFlow defines the
criteria, the outbound are the values for the data
found matching the inbound criteria. If more than
one DataFlow is connected inbound, then the Find
criteria will find the union of the values, e.g.
dataConnectInV 1 OR dataConnectInV2.

Data Pack The Data Pack Action creates a composite
DataFlow value from the supplied values on the
inbound DataFlow connections.

Data Save The Data Save Action allows for single or
composite Dataflow values to be persistently stored
from an interactive representation of the subject
application. The label on the inbound Dataflow
connection is the name of the data it creates.

Data Unpack The Data Unpack Action disassembles the data
elements in a composite to its single elements. The
ataFlow inbound is the composite and the
ataFlow outbound label specifies the element to be
pulled from the composite.

Data Update The Data Update Action updates the persistent data
stored for the subject application. The first inbound
connection is the composite to be updated, the
second (and any additional) DataFlow connections
inbound are the values to update with. It must be a
composite for the first value, single elements cannot
be updated.


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Class Primitive Function

Session The Session Action is used for storing data to be
used between pages that are not needed beyond the
users interaction. The Session Action stores
DataFlow values for the duration of a users
interaction in one specific instance of a connection
between the users browser and the Simulator (uses
cookies). Data in a Session Action is NOT put in
persistent storage for the subject application. There
is only one instance of a Session Action for each
users connection, it can store unlimited amounts of
composites or single data elements, but the names
must be unique, otherwise it will be overwritten.

HTML Href The HTML Href action takes the DataFlow inputs to
construct a URL that can be used to connect to text
to display as a clickable href during execution of the
interactive representation. The first inbound
ataFlow connection is the text that the URL will
display and the second inbound DataFlow
connections make up the actual URL. More
inbound DataFlow connections can be made, these
will be appended as name value pairs. E.g.
?s1=valI&s2=val2 where s1 is the name of the
connected DataFlow and vall is the data value.
The URL value should be complete, using http:// in
at the start, otherwise it will prepend the Simulator
URL.

HTML Img The HTML Img action takes the DataFlow inputs to
construct a URI that can be used to connect to text
to display an image during execution of the
interactive representation. The first inbound
DataFlow connection is the URI to an image that


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Class Primitive unction

will display.

HTML Link The HTML Link action takes the DataFlow inputs
to construct a URL that can be used to connect to
text to display as a clickable href during execution
of the interactive representation. The first inbound
DataFlow connections make up the actual URL and
the second inbound DataFlow connection is the text
that the URL will display.
The URL value should be complete, using http:// in
at the start, otherwise it will prepend the Simulator
URL.

List Count The List Count Action counts the number of data
values connected on the inbound DataFlow. The
count number is the outbound DataFlow value.
An example use could be to count the number of
found elements from a Find Action.

List Range The List Range Action returns the values in the
range specified by the inbound DataFlow required
connections. The first inbound DataFlow
connection is the list of data values that the range
will be extracted from, the second inbound
DataFlow connection is the number of elements to
be returned. The third optional inbound DataFlow
connection can be used to specify an offset, or
starting point from the supplied list of values.


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Class Primitive unction

List Sequence The List Sequence Action acts like a counter that
will increment by one when supplied a value for
name on the required first inbound DataFlow
connection. The name gives each instance of a List
Sequence Action a unique identifier. The second
optional DataFlow inbound connection will set the
sequence to the supplied value. The optional
ataFlow outbound connection can be used to get
the sequence number.

ist Sort The List Sort will alphabetically sort the named data
values specified on the inbound DataFlow
connections. The first inbound DataFlow
connection is the compound dataobject, the second
inbound DataFlow is the name of the data element
to be sorted. Note: For the second inbound
DataFlow connection, it is the name of the element
that is the sorting criteria, not the value.

Cast The Cast Action changes the name of single or
composite data supplied on the inbound DataFlow
connection to whatever is specified as the name of
the outbound DataFlow connection.

Email The Email Action uses the following required
DataFlow inputs to form an SMTP email message
that will actually be sent if the Simulators server is
configured to use an SMTP server. First input is To,
second is From, third is Subject, and fourth is the
Body. The labels used in the inbound connections
must match those exactly (To, From, Subject,
Body).


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Class Primitive Function

ogic AND The Logic AND Action evaluates any inbound
DataFlow connections, if ALL of the optional inputs
are 1 then True is the DataFlow outbound
connection value, else it is <null>. When only an
outbound DataFlow connection is made, then value
will be True.

Logic OR The Logic OR Action evaluates any inbound
DataFlow connections, if ANY of the optional
inputs are 1 then True is the DataFlow outbound
connection value, else it is <null>. When only an
outbound DataFlow connection is made, then value
will be <null>.

ogic NOT The Logic NOT Action evaluates any inbound
DataFlow connections, if the first of the optional
inputs are 0 then True is the DataFlow outbound
connection value, else it is <null>. When only an
outbound DataFlow connection is made, then value
will be <null>.

ogic FALSE The Logic FALSE Action always returns <null> on
the DataFlow connection outbound, not matter what
DataFlow connections are made inbound.

Logic TRUE The Logic FALSE Action always returns True on
the DataFlow connection outbound, not matter what
DataFlow connections are made inbound.

Math Plus The Math Plus Action adds the optional DataFlow
inbound connection values together. If no inputs are
supplied, the outbound DataFlow connection value
is 0Ø

Math Minus The Math Minus Action subtracts the optional
DataFlow inbound connection values from each
other. If no inputs are supplied, the outbound


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Class Primitive unction

ataFlow connection value is 0Ø

Math Div The Math Div Action divides the optional DataFlow
inbound connection values by each other. If no
inputs are supplied, the outbound DataFlow
connection value is 0Ø

Math Mult The Math Mult Action multiplies the optional
DataFlow inbound connection values by each other.
If no inputs are supplied, the outbound DataFlow
connection value is 0Ø

Math Min The Math Min Action outputs the smallest value of
all the optional values supplied on the inbound
DataFlow connections. Negative numbers are
considered smaller than zero and positive numbers.
If no inputs are supplied, the outbound DataFlow
connection value is 0Ø

Math Max The Math Max Action outputs the largest value of
all the optional values supplied on the inbound
ataFlow connections. Negative numbers are
considered smaller than zero and positive numbers.
If no inputs are supplied, the outbound DataFlow
connection value is 0Ø

Math Remainder The Math Remainder Action divides the optional
DataFlow inbound connection values by each other
and outputs the remainder. If no inputs are
supplied, the outbound DataFlow connection value
is 0Ø


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Class Primitive unction

Math Floor The Math Floor Action rounds down the first
(optional) DataFlow inbound connection value to
the nearest integer number. If no inputs are
supplied, the outbound DataFlow connection value
is 0Ø

Math Round The Math Round rounds up or down to the closest
of the first (optional) DataFlow inbound connection
value to the nearest whole integer number. If no
inputs are supplied, the outbound DataFlow
connection value is 0.0

Math Abs The Math Abs gives the absolute integer value of
the first (optional) DataFlow inbound connection
value. If no inputs are supplied, the outbound
DataFlow connection value is 0.0

Math Ceiling The Math Ceiling Action rounds up the first
(optional) DataFlow inbound connection value to
the nearest integer number. If no inputs are
supplied, the outbound DataFlow connection value
is 0Ø

Math Random The Math Random Action generates a random
decimal number between zero and one. Any
inbound DataFlow connections will be ignored.

Math LT The Math LT Action returns true if the first
(optional) DataFlow inbound connection value is
less than the second (optional) inbound connection
value, otherwise returns <null>.

Math GT The Math GT Action returns true if the first
(optional) DataFlow inbound connection value is
greater than the second (optional) inbound
connection value, otherwise returns <null>.


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Class Primitive Function

Math LE The Math LE Action returns true if the first
(optional) DataFlow inbound connection value is
less than or equal to the second (optional) inbound
connection value, otherwise returns <null>.

Math GE The Math GE Action returns true if the first
(optional) DataFlow inbound connection value is
greater than or equal to the second (optional)
inbound connection value, otherwise returns <null>.

Math EQ The Math EQ Action returns true if the first
(optional) DataFlow inbound connection value is
equal to the second (optional) inbound connection
value, otherwise returns <null>.

Math NE The Math NE Action returns true if the first
(optional) DataFlow inbound connection value is
NOT equal to the second (optional) inbound
connection value, otherwise returns <null>.

Modellnput The Modellnput Primitive represents a single
inbound DataFlow value passed in from a calling
IRM.

ModelOutput The ModelOutput Primitive represents a single
outbound DataFlow value passed from the subject
application IRM to another application IRM.

Text Length The Text Length Action counts the number of
characters in the single data values connected on the
inbound DataFlow. The count number is the
outbound DataFlow value.

Text Trim The Text Trim Action removes any leading or
ending space characters in the single data values
connected on the inbound DataFlow. The resulting
string is the outbound DataFlow value.


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Class Primitive Function

Text Lowercase The Text Lowercase Action converts any
alphabetical characters in the single data values
connected on the inbound DataFlow to lowercase.
The resulting string is the outbound DataFlow value.

Text Uppercase The Text Uppercase Action converts any
alphabetical characters in the single data values
connected on the inbound DataFlow to lowercase.
The resulting string is the outbound DataFlow value.

Text Equals The Text Equals Action returns True if the first
(optional) DataFlow inbound connection value is
equal to the second (optional) inbound connection
value, otherwise returns <null>.

Text Notequal The Text Notequal Action returns True if the first
(optional) DataFlow inbound connection value is
not equal to the second (optional) inbound
connection value, otherwise returns <null>.
Text Add The Text Add Action concatenates the optional
DataFlow inbound single values that are connected
to make one single String for the outbound
DataFlow value.

Text Substrng The Text Substrng Action outputs the String value
for the substring as specified by the starting and
ending count. The first inbound DataFlow
connection provides the single string, the second
inbound DataFlow value is the starting index and
the third inbound DataFlow is the ending index. If
no inbound values are provided, <null> is returned.
If no starting index is provided, then the string as it
was inputted will be returned. The first character in
the string is index 1.


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Class Primitive Function

UserDefined The UserDefined Action allows the user to define a
constant value for any inbound or outbound
ataFlow connections that are made to the instance
of a UserDefined Action.

Table III - IRML Prmitives and Allowed Containment Relationships
2002 iRise.


Class Primitive Allowed Containment Relationships
User Interface Components - Tags

Break Must be contained in a Page, can be
contained inside a TableCell, Form or
a ConditionalHTML

Button Must be contained in a Form, can be
contained inside a Table Cell,
Dynamic Table or Conditional Html
(inside a Form.)

Text Must be contained in a Page, can be
contained inside a Form, TableCell,
Dynamic Table or ConditionalHTML

Image Must be contained in a Page, can be
contained inside a Form, TableCell,
Dynamic Table or ConditionalHTML
User Interface Components - Input Tags

RadioButton Must be contained in a Form, can be
contained inside a TableCell,
Dynamic Table or Conditional Html
(inside a Form.)


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Class Primitive Allowed Containment Relationships

Select Must be contained in a Form, can be
contained inside a TableCell,
Dynamic Table or Conditional Html
(inside a Form.)

TextArea Must be contained in a Form, can be
contained inside a TableCell,
Dynamic Table or Conditional Html
(inside a Form.)

Textlnput Must be contained in a Form, can be
contained inside a TableCell,
Dynamic Table or Conditional Html
(inside a Form.)

CheckBox Must be contained in a Form, can be
contained inside a TableCell,
Dynamic Table or Conditional Html
(inside a Form.)

User Interface Components - Container Tags

ConditionalHTML Must be contained in a Page, can be
contained inside a Table, TableRow,
TableCell, Form, Dynamic Table
Note: ConditionalHTML can only
contain TableCell if it is contained in
a TableRow and can only contain
ableRow if it is contained in a Table
Dynamic Table Must be contained in a Page, can be
contained inside a TableCell or Form.
Can also be contained in a
ConditionalHTML inside a TableCell.

orm Must be contained in a Page, can be
contained inside a Form, TableCell or


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Class Primitive Allowed Containment Relationships

ConditionalHTML
Page Page is not contained by any
Primitive, it can contain all visual
Primitives.

Table Must be contained in a Page, can be
contained inside a TableCell, Form or
a ConditionalHTML

TableCell Must be contained in a TableRow.
ableRow Must be contained in a Table.
Comment

Comment None
Flow Label

Flow Label None
Decision

Decision None
References

ModelEntry None
ModelExit None
ModelRef None

Reference Embedded references in Pages can
occur in any location where the
Referent Primitive would be allowed
based on its containment rules.
Constant

Constant None
Action None
Data Create None
Data Delete None
Data Find None


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Class Primitive Allowed Containment Relationships

Data FindOR None
Data Pack None
Data Save None
Data Unpack None
Data Update None
Session None
HTML Href None
HTML Img None
HTML Link None
List Count None
List Range None
List Sequence None
List Sort None
Cast None
Email None
Logic AND None

ogic OR None
Logic NOT None
Logic FALSE None
Logic TRUE None
Math Plus None
Math Minus None
Math Div None
Math Mult None
Math Min None
Math Max None
Math Remainder None
Math Floor None
Math Round None


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Class Primitive Allowed Containment Relationships

Math Abs None
Math Ceiling None
Math Random None
Math LT None
Math GT None
Math LE None
Math GE None
Math EQ None
Math NE None
Modellnput None
ModelOutput None
Text Length None
Text Trim None
Text Lowercase None
Text Uppercase None
Text Equals None
Text Notequal None
Text Add None
Text Substrng None
UserDefined None

Table IV - IRML Primitives and Allowed Outbound Connections
2002 iRise.

5 Allowed outbound connections from the primitives

Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound
User Interface Components - Tags

Break None


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

Button A button can be connected to a
Page, Decision, ModelExit,
ModelRef and Reference with
Control Flow. Maximum of one
Control Flow connection can be
made from a button at one point in
time.

Text Text can be connected to a Page,
Decision, ModelExit, ModelRef and
Reference with Control Flow.
Maximum of one Control Flow
connection can be made from text at
one point in time.

Image An image can be connected to a
Page, Decision, ModelExit,
ModelRef and Reference with
Control Flow. Maximum of one
Control Flow connection can be
made from an Image at one point in
time.
User Interface Components - Input Tags

RadioButton A RadioButton can be connected to
Text, TextArea, Textlnput,
RadioButton, Checkbox, Select,
Reference, Decision, Action and
ModelRef with DataFlow.
Although only one instance of a
primitive in the list above can be
connected directly to the checkbox
at one point in time, an unlimited
number of DataFlow connections


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

can be made from a data branch that
is connected from a RadioButton,
to any instance of the primitives
listed above.

Select A Select can be connected to Text,
TextArea, Textlnput, RadioButton,
Checkbox, Select, Reference,
Decision, Action and ModelRef
with DataFlow. Although only one
instance of a primitive in the list
above can be connected directly to
the checkbox at one point in time,
an unlimited number of DataFlow
connections can be made from a
data branch that is connected from a
select, to any instance of the
primitives listed above.

extArea A TextArea can be connected to
Text, TextArea, Textlnput,
RadioButton, Checkbox, Select,
Reference, Decision, Action and
ModelRef with DataFlow.
Although only one instance of a
primitive in the list above can be
connected directly to the TextArea
at one point in time, an unlimited
number of DataFlow connections


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

can be made from a data branch that
is connected from a TextArea, to
any instance of the primitives listed
above.

Textlnput A Textlnput can be connected to
Text, TextArea, Textlnput,
RadioButton, Checkbox, Select,
Reference, Decision, Action and
ModelRef with DataFlow.
Although only one instance of a
primitive in the list above can be
connected directly to the Textlnput
at one point in time, an unlimited
number of DataFlow connections
can be made from a data branch that
is connected from a TextInput, to
any instance of the primitives listed
above.

CheckBox A checkbox can be connected to
Text, TextArea, TextInput,
RadioButton, Checkbox, Select,
Reference, Decision, Action and
ModelRef with DataFlow.
Although only one instance of a
primitive in the list above can be
connected directly to the checkbox
at one point in time, an unlimited


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

number of DataFlow connections
can be made from a data branch that
is connected from a checkbox, to
any instance of the primitives listed
above.

User Interface Components - Container Tags
ConditionalHTML None
Dynamic Table None
Form None
Page None
Table None

ableCell None
TableRow None
Comment

Comment Can connect to any primitive, is not
directional (inbound/outbound)
Flow Label


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

Flow Label Because a Flow Label simply
appears as a label on data flow
connections, its connection rules are
embodied in the rules for the
primitives that are to be connected;
I.e., the rules expressed in this
column of the appendix.

Decision

Decision A Decision can be connected to a
Page, Decision, ModelExit,
ModelRef and Reference with
Control Flow. There is no
maximum on the number of Control
Flow connections that can be made
from a Decision at one point in
time. Each one of these outbound
ControlFlow connections is labeled
with a Condition identifier. The
condition can be user defined.
References

ModelEntry A required single ControlFlow
connection to Page, Decision or
Reference to Page or to Decision.

ModelExit No outbound connections are
allowed
ModelRef Multiple outbound DataFlow
connections are allowed up to the
same number of ModelOutputs
defined in the referenced IRM.
Multiple outbound ControlFlow
connections are allowed up to the


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

number of ModelExits defined in
the referenced IRM.

Reference N/A
Constant

Constant A Constant can be connected to
Text, TextArea, Textlnput,
RadioButton, Checkbox, Select,
Reference, Decision, Action and
ModelRef with DataFlow. An
unlimited number of DataFlow
connections can be made from a
constant to any instance of the
primitives listed above.

Action The outbound connections for
actions are specific to each one as
described below. Any outbound
connection can only be DataFlow.

Data Create Data Create requires an outbound
DataFlow to be connected. Only
one outbound DataFlow connection
can be made at any point in time.

Data Delete Not required. There is no maximum
on the number of outbound
ataFlow connections that can be
made to a Data Delete instance at
any point in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

Data Find Data Find requires an Outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Data Find instance at
any point in time.

Data FindOR Data FindOR requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Data FindOR instance
at any point in time.

Data Pack Data Pack requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Data Pack instance at
any point in time.

Data Save Not required. There is no maximum
on the number of outbound
DataFlow connections that can be
made to a Data Save instance at any
point in time.

Data Unpack Data Unpack requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. There is no
maximum on the number of
outbound DataFlow connections
that can be made to a Data Unack
instance at any point in time.

Data Update Not required. There is no maximum
on the number of outbound
DataFlow connections that can be
made to a Data Update instance at
any point in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

Session Not required. There is no maximum
on the number of outbound
DataFlow connections that can be
made to a Session instance at any
point in time.

HTML Href HTML Href requires an Outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a HTML Href instance
at any point in time.

HTML ling HTML ling requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a HTML ling instance at
any point in time.

HTML Link HTML Link requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a HTML Link instance
at any point in time.

List Count List Count requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a List Count instance at
any point in time.

List Range List Range requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a List Range instance at
any point in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

List Sequence Not required. There is no maximum
on the number of outbound
ataFlow connections that can be
made to a List Sequence instance at
any point in time.

List Sort List Sort requires an Outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a List Sort instance at
any point in time.

Cast Cast requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Cast instance at any
point in time.

Email Not required. There is no maximum
on the number of outbound
DataFlow connections that can be
made to an Email instance at any
point in time.

Logic AND Logic AND requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Logic AND instance at
any point in time.

Logic OR Logic OR requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Logic OR instance at
any point in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

Logic NOT Logic NOT requires an Outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Logic NOT instance at
any point in time.

Logic FALSE Logic FALSE requires an Outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Logic FALSE instance
at any point in time.

Logic TRUE Logic TRUE requires an Outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Logic TRUE instance
at any point in time.

Math Plus Math Plus requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Plus instance at
any point in time.

Math Minus Math Minus requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Minus instance
at any point in time.

Math Div Math Div requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Div instance at
any point in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

Math Mult Math Mult requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Mult instance at
any point in time.

Math Min Math Min requires an outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Min instance at
any point in time.

Math Max Math Max requires an outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Max instance at
any point in time.

Math Remainder Math Div requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Div instance at
any point in time.

Math Floor Math Floor requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Floor instance at
any point in time.

Math Round Math Round requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Round instance
at any point in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

Math Abs Math Abs requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Abs instance at
any point in time.

Math Ceiling Math Ceiling requires an outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Ceiling instance
at any point in time.

Math Random Math Random requires an outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math Random instance
at any point in time.

Math LT Math LT requires an outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math LT instance at
any point in time.

Math GT Math GT requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math GT instance at
any point in time.

Math LE Math LE requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math LE instance at
any point in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

Math GE Math GE requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math GE instance at
any point in time.

Math EQ Math EQ requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math EQ instance at
any point in time.

Math NE Math NE requires an outbound
ataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Math NE instance at
any point in time.

ModelInput A required single Outbound
DataFlow connection is allowed
ModelOutput No Outbound DataFlow
connections are allowed

Text Length Text Length requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Text Length instance
at any point in time.

Text Trim Text Trim requires an Outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Text Trim instance at
any point in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

Text Lowercase Text Lowercase requires an
Outbound DataFlow connection.
Only one outbound DataFlow
connection can be made to a Text
Lowercase instance at any point in
time.

Text Uppercase Text Uppercase requires an
outbound DataFlow connection.
Only one outbound DataFlow
connection can be made to a Text
Uppercase instance at any point in
time.

Text Equals Text Equals requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Text Equals instance at
any point in time.

Text Notequal Text Notequal requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Text Notequal instance
at any point in time.

Text Add Text Add requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Text Add instance at
any point in time.

Text Substrng Text Substmg requires an outbound
DataFlow connection. Only one
outbound DataFlow connection can
be made to a Text Substrng instance


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Outbound

at any point in time.
UserDefined Not Required. Any number of
outbound DataFlow connections can
be made to a UserDefined Action at
any point in time.

In Table V, the permitted inbound connections for the primitives are
listed.

Table V - IRML Primitives and Allowed Inbound Connections
5 2002 iRise.

Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound
User Interface Components - Tags

Break None
Button None

Text TextArea, Textlnput, RadioButton,
Checkbox, Select, Constant, Action and
ModelRef can be connected to a
Checkbox with DataFlow. Only one
inbound connection can be made at any
one point in time.

Image None
User Interface Components - Input Tags


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

RadioButton TextArea, Textlnput, RadioButton,
Checkbox, Select, Constant, Action and
ModelRef can be connected to a
RadioButton with DataFlow. Two inbound
connections can be made at any one point
in time. The first connection is the list of
options, the second connection is the
default value selected. The second
connection is optional.

Select TextArea, Textlnput, RadioButton,
Checkbox, Select, Constant, Action and
ModelRef can be connected to a Select
with DataFlow. Two inbound connections
can be made at any one point in time. The
first connection is the list of options, the
second connection is the default value
selected. The second connection is
optional.

TextArea TextArea, TextInput, RadioButton,
Checkbox, Select, Constant, Action and
ModelRef can be connected to a TextArea
with DataFlow. Only one inbound
connection can be made at any one point
in time.

TextInput TextArea, TextInput, RadioButton,
Checkbox, Select, Constant, Action and
ModelRef can be connected to a TextInput
with DataFlow. Only one inbound
connection can be made at any one point
in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

CheckBox TextArea, Textlnput, RadioButton,
Checkbox, Select, Constant, Action and
ModelRef can be connected to a
Checkbox with DataFlow. Only one
inbound connection can be made at any
one point in time.

User Interface Components - Container Tags

ConditionalHTML TextArea, Textlnput, RadioButton,
Checkbox, Select, Constant, and Action
can be connected to a Checkbox with
DataFlow. Only one inbound connection
can be made at any one point in time.

Dynamic Table TextArea, Textlnput, RadioButton,
Checkbox, Select, Constant, and Action
can be connected to a Dynamic Table with
DataFlow. Only one inbound connection
can be made at any one point in time.
Form none

Page Button, Image, Text, Decision,
ModelEntry, ModelRef using Control
Flow. There is no maximum on the
number of ControlFlow connections to a
page.

Table none
TableCell none
TableRow none
Comment

Comment Can connect to any primitive, is not
directional (inbound/outbound)
Flow Label


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

Flow Label Because a Flow Label simply appears as a
label on data flow connections, its
connection rules are embodied in the rules
for the primitives that are to be connected;
I.e., the rules expressed in this column of
the appendix.

Decision

Decision TextArea, Textlnput, RadioButton,
Checkbox, Select, Constant, and Action
can be connected to a Decision with
DataFlow. Only one inbound DataFlow
connection can be made at any one point
in time.

ControlFlow can be used to connect
Images, Buttons and Text into a Decision.
References

ModelEntry No inbound connections are allowed
ModelExit Inbound ControlFlow connections from
Text, Button, Image, or Decision are
required.

ModelRef Multiple inbound DataFlow connections
are allowed up to the number of
Modellnputs defined in the referenced
IRM. Multiple outbound
ControlFlow connections are allowed up
to the number of ModelExits defined in
the referenced IRM.

Reference N/A
Constant

Constant none


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

Action The inbound connections for actions are
specific to each one as described below.
Any inbound connection can only be
DataFlow.

Data Create Data Create requires an inbound DataFlow
to be connected. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Data
Create instance at any point in time.

Data Delete Data Delete requires an inbound DataFlow
to be connected. Only one inbound
DataFlow connection can be made to a
Data Delete instance at any point in time.

Data Find Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Data
Find instance at any point in time.

Data FindOR At least one inbound DataFlow connection
is required. There is no maximum on the
number of inbound DataFlow connections
that can be made to a Data FindOR
instance at any point in time. If multiple
inbound connections are made, the
FindOR will return the OR of the values
connected.

Data Pack At least one inbound DataFlow connection
is required. There is no maximum on the
number of inbound DataFlow connections
that can be made to a Data Pack instance
at any point in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

Data Save One inbound DataFlow connection is
required. Only one inbound connection
can be made to an instance of a Data Save
at any point in time.

Data Unpack One inbound DataFlow connection is
required. Only one inbound connection
can be made to an instance of a Data
Unpack at any point in time.

Data Update Two inbound DataFlow connections are
required. There is no maximum on the
number of inbound DataFlow connections
that can be made to a Data Update
instance at any point in time.

Session Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Session
instance at any point in time.

HTML Href HTML Href requires an inbound
DataFlow to be connected. There is no
maximum on the number of inbound
DataFlow connections that can be made to
a HTML Href instance at any point in
time.

HTML Img HTML Img requires an inbound DataFlow
connection. Only one inbound DataFlow
connection can be made to a HTML Img
instance at any point in time.

HTML Link HTML Link requires two inbound
DataFlow connections. Maximum of two
inbound DataFlow connections can be
made to a HTML Link instance at any


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

point in time.

List Count List Count requires an inbound DataFlow
connection. Only one inbound DataFlow
connection can be made to a List Count
instance at any point in time.

List Range List Range requires two inbound
DataFlow connections. There is no
maximum on the number of inbound
DataFlow connections that can be made to
a List Range instance at any point in time.
The third inbound connection will be used
as the offset for the range, any more
inbound connections will be ignored.

List Sequence List Sequence requires an inbound
DataFlow connection. There is no
maximum on the number of inbound
DataFlow connections that can be made to
a List Sequence instance at any point in
time.
The second (optional) inbound connection
can be used to set the value of the
sequence instance, any more inbound
connections will be ignored.

List Sort List Range requires two inbound
DataFlow connections. Only two inbound
DataFlow connections can be made at any
point in time.

Cast Cast requires an inbound DataFlow
connection. Only one inbound DataFlow
connection can be made to a Cast instance
at any point in time.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

Email Email requires four inbound DataFlow
connections. Only four inbound DataFlow
connections can be made at any point in
time.

Logic AND Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Logic
AND instance at any point in time.

Logic OR Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Logic
OR instance at any point in time.

Logic NOT Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Logic
NOT instance at any point in time.

Logic FALSE Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Logic
FALSE instance at any point in time.

Logic TRUE Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Logic
TRUE instance at any point in time.

Math Plus Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Plus instance at any point in time.

Math Minus Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

Minus instance at any point in time.
Math Div Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Div instance at any point in time.

Math Mult Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Mult instance at any point in time.

Math Min Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Min instance at any point in time.

Math Max Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Max instance at any point in time.

Math Remainder Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Div instance at any point in time.

Math Floor Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Floor instance at any point in time, but any
connections other than the first one will be
ignored.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

Math Round Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Round instance at any point in time, but
any connections other than the first one
will be ignored.

Math Abs Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Abs instance at any point in time, but any
connections other than the first one will be
ignored.

Math Ceiling Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Ceiling instance at any point in time, but
any connections other than the first one
will be ignored.

Math Random Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
Random instance at any point in time, but
any connections will be ignored.

Math LT Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
LT instance at any point in time, but any
connections other than the first two will be
ignored.


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

Math GT Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
GT instance at any point in time, but any
connections other than the first two will be
ignored.

Math LE Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
LE instance at any point in time, but any
connections other than the first two will be
ignored.

Math GE Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
GE instance at any point in time, but any
connections other than the first two will be
ignored.

Math EQ Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
EQ instance at any point in time, but any
connections other than the first two will be
ignored.

Math NE Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Math
NE instance at any point in time, but any
connections other than the first two will be
ignored.

Modellnput No inbound DataFlow connections are


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

allowed
ModelOutput A required single Inbound DataFlow
connection is allowed

Text Length Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Text
Length instance at any point in time, but
any connections other than the first one
will be ignored.

Text Trim Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Text
Trim instance at any point in time, but any
connections other than the first one will be
ignored.

Text Lowercase Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Text
Lowercase instance at any point in time,
but any connections other than the first
one will be ignored.

Text Uppercase Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Text
Uppercase instance at any point in time,
but any connections other than the first
one will be ignored.

Text Equals Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Text
Equals instance at any point in time, but


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Class Primitive Allowed Connections Inbound

any connections other than the first two
will be ignored.

Text Notequal Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Text
Notequal instance at any point in time, but
any connections other than the first two
will be ignored.

Text Add Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Text
Add instance at any point in time.

Text Substmg Not required. There is no maximum on
the number of inbound DataFlow
connections that can be made to a Text
Substrng instance at any point in time, but
any more than two DataFlow input
connections will be ignored.

UserDefined Not Required. Any number of inbound
DataFlow connections can be made to a
UserDefined Action at any point in time.
There are nine classes of primitives in IRMIL in the preferred
embodiment of the present invention: (1) user interface components referred to
as "tags"; (2) user interface components referred to as "input tags"; (3) user
interface components referred to as "container tags" or "containers"; (4)
comments; (5) flow labels; (6) decisions; (7) references, (8) constants and
(9)
actions.
The first three classes of primitives, the user interface tags, input tags
and container tags are similar. The variation in their functions is readily


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apparent from their descriptions in Tables I - V and from the detailed
discussions of the control flow and data flow visitation algorithms below.
These
user interface components and the relationships among them define how the
interactive representation will appear to the user, as will be described in
regard
to the simulator component. The relationships among the user interface
components represents information that is important to how the interactive
representation will appear to the user. The definition of a primitives itself
is not
sufficient to represent all of the information necessary to explain its
function.
The relationships between user interface components and other types of
primitives is often required to fully describe the interactive representation.
The user interface components in the preferred embodiment represent a
subset of conventional user interface components that are available to
developers to program a proposed application that is represented by an
interactive representation model. These include such components as "page,"
"form," "table," "button," "text," "text input" and "image." Specifically, in
the
preferred embodiment, the user interface components are derived from, and
function in a manner similar to a subset of the user interface components
defined in Hypertext Markup Language, a standard programming language
commonly known as HTML. HTML is typically used by programmers to
develop subject applications. Alternatively, the user interface components
could
be derived from and function in a manner similar to those defined by other
languages, such as Microsoft Windows, Visual Basic or the Apple Macintosh
OS.
The fourth class of primitives, "comments," provide the user with the
ability to annotate the IRM. Comments are not processed by the simulator and
do not impact the behavior of the interactive representation. They can be
viewed
in the Studio component.
The fifth class of primitives, "flow labels," allows users to label data
flow relationships between other primitives. Their function is similar to that
of
variable names in other computer languages, as would be evident to a person
skilled in the art. The detailed processing of flow labels is described in
regard to
the simulator component of the present invention.
The sixth class of primitives, "decisions," defines the conditional
execution of other primitives. In the preferred embodiment, decisions function


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in a manner similar to that of "IF...THEN" and "CASE" statements found in
conventional computer languages. Alternatively, decisions could be based on
other conditional or branching structures found in conventional computer
languages, or derived from common behaviors found in conventional computer
applications.
The seventh class of primitives, "references," allow the reuse of portions
of an IRM, or of other IRMs. The attributes of a reference include a unique
identifier for one or more instances of other IRML primitives elsewhere in an
IRM. Using a reference primitive is similar to copying one or more instances
of
primitives but is more efficient, from a maintainability perspective. For
example, common behavior that occurs in several places within an IRM can be
specified once and referenced from the places where it occurs. This reference
feature of the present invention allows specification of a single,
simultaneous
change to the common behavior, rather than a serial or sequential change to
the
behavior wherever it occurs. In this sense a reference primitive functions to
permit simultaneous, global changes to an IRM.
The eighth class of primitives, "constants," provide a method of storing
data that is commonly used and is relatively static in an interactive
representation. For example, days of the week, a company's product types, and
valid zip-code/State combinations are constants.
Finally, the ninth class of primitives, "actions," define how data will be
transformed, derived, stored, retrieved, sorted or otherwise manipulated by
the
interactive representation. In the preferred embodiment, actions include
typical
ways that computer systems manipulate data, and are not specific to any
particular computer programming language. Alternatively, the actions could be
closely based on one or more existing computer languages.
Unlike most known computer software programming languages, the
preferred implementation of the IRML of the present invention does not
explicitly designate the order in which actions are executed or user interface
components are rendered. Instead, the order of execution is inferred by the
simulator component of the present invention from the relationships among
primitives, as will be described in detail below. This advantageous feature of
the present invention relieves the user of the task of specifying order of
execution and significantly simplifies the process of creating and maintaining


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an IRM. Alternatively, a language similar to IRML could be implemented in a
form that did require explicit ordering of execution.
Also unlike most computer implemented software programs, programs
using an IRML in accordance with the principles of the present invention
5 preferably do not require the explicit definition of data records separately
from
how the data contained in those records is manipulated. For example, in a
typical, conventional computer software program a user would need to define to
the database subsystem or subroutine that an "invoice record contained an
invoice number, a total amount, a vendor identification," and, typically,
other
10 data. Separately, the user would need to define in that computer
application or
program that an invoice record contained the same data in the code used to
manipulate this data from the database. However, because the simulator
software component of the present invention, working in combination with the
music software component, is capable of storing and retrieving data without
15 reliance on a static definition of the data contained in a data record, the
preferred IRML of the present invention enables the user to specify only the
manipulation of the data and enables inferring of data record definition from
this specification. This advantageous feature of the present invention
relieves
the user of the task of explicitly describing the definition of data records
and
20 relieves the users of the task of ensuring that the same definition is
required for
each time the corresponding record in the application is manipulated.
Alternatively, although not preferred, the IRML of the present invention could
be implemented utilizing a separate static definition of data records.

Additionally, unlike most computer languages, the preferred IRML of
25 the present invention does not require explicit designation of the type of
data
that is manipulated by the IRM. Instead, all data is considered to be of type
"string" and the implementation of certain actions that manipulate this data
include logic to behave in a predictable manner, regardless of the true type
of
the data contained within the "string." The term "string" is well-known to
those
30 skilled in this field. For example, an action named "math:add" will produce
the
sum of two numbers if it is supplied with two strings that contain numbers. If
the math:add action receives either two alphanumeric strings or one
alphanumeric string and a string that contains a number, it will produce the


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string "NaN" indicating that one of the inputs is "Not a Number." This feature
relieves the user from specifying the type of data being manipulated by the
system and eliminates the need for the user to ensure agreement between the
type of data provided to actions and the type of data that actions expect
and/or
require when processing. Alternatively, and although not preferred, an IRML in
accordance with the principles of the present invention could be implemented
in
a form that required explicit typing of data.

The fourth computer application included in the preferred embodiment
of the present invention provides users with a browser-based program that
maintains a record of the requirements for a subject application, that
administers
the implementation of the present invention, maintains a record of defect
reports
related to the subject application and its requirements and maintains a record
of
task performed, or to be performed, by users of the present invention. For
convenience this fourth application is referred to as "ION." For purposes of
the
present invention, administration of the implementation consists of activities
necessary for the efficient functioning of the overall invention but not
including
frequently performed activities such as creation of the IRM, presentation of
interactive representations or recording and editing of requirements. For
example, administration of the implementation includes establishing user names
and passwords, creation of files to store IRM information, and definition of
the
range of valid values for attributes of requirements. A detailed discussion of
the
functions and features provided by ION is provided under Use of the Invention
below.
ION is also, preferably, written in Java TM using the J2EE (Java 2
Enterprise Edition ) framework. Preferably, ION is constructed utilizing
standard industry practices for the construction of web-based applications
and,
therefore, its detailed processing can be inferred from the description of its
functions and features described under Use of Invention below, by an
individual
skilled in the art.
In operation, the ION program utilizes the music client to retrieve and
update requirements that are stored at the music server. As alternative
embodiments in accordance with the principles of the present invention, the
fourth software application could be written in other languages, such as for


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example, C++, C# or Visual Basic. Also, as yet another alternative, the fourth
application could be written with one of several proprietary web application
development environments, for example the BroadvisionTM or ATG DynamoTM
brands of environments. Also, as yet another alternative, ION could be
replaced
by a commercially available requirements management system, such as
Rational Software's RequistiePro. However, drawbacks of this alternative
embodiment include a lack of integration with other components of the
invention and additional costs required to acquire, configure and administer a
commercially available requirements management system.
The fifth software application used in the preferred embodiment of the
present invention, referred to for convenience as "simulator," is a computer
program that renders interactive representations of prospective computer
applications by accepting requests from the user's browser, interpreting the
IRM, composing an HTML response to the user's requests and communicating
its response to the user's browser. This fifth application is also,
preferably,
written in Java language. Alternate embodiments of this fifth computer
software application within the principles of the present invention could be
written in any of the C++, C# or Visual Basic languages.
The process embodied by the simulator 78 is depicted in further detail in
Figure 4, and described below. The simulator processes using a
request/response cycle similar to that of other conventional computer
applications that interact with standard browsers. During the simulation
process,
a users browser generates several types of requests, including but not limited
to
requests to display pages, requests to display images and requests to process
data entered by the user. These requests are referred to as a "form submit"
requests. The simulator, in turn, composes a response in the form of an HTML
page and sends this to the browser. This request/response cycle is repeated
and
results in the interactive representation.
The simulator process starts when the simulator receives a request,
shown at 124 from the user's browser. Upon receipt of the request, the
simulator determines if there is a valid session, shown at 126, for the
specific
user that made the request. If the user does not have a valid session, the
request
is redirected at 128 by the simulator component to the ION component 76
where the user is authenticated to the system, a session is initiated, and the


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simulator process ends. In the present invention, the term "session" refers to
a
set of variables stored in the server computer's memory and that contain
information regarding a user and the user's interactions with the ION and/or
simulator components of the present invention. This information is maintained
for a period between the receipt of an initial request from the user's browser
and
the termination of the session when the user has chosen to log off the system,
or
when the session has been terminated due to exceeding the maximum time
allowed for a session.
If the user has a valid session, the simulator process begins to determine
the type of request that has been received from the user by determining if an
image was requested, as shown at 130. If an image was not requested, the
process continues to determine if a page or decision was requested, as shown
at
132. Otherwise, the process continues to "process image request," as shown at
134. Process image request retrieves the appropriate image stored with the IRM
and returns it to the browser, and enables the browser to present this image
to
the user. Typically, this variant of request is communicated to the simulator
after the simulator has already serviced requests for one or more pages. This
is
because the simulator's response to a page request may include one or more
references to images that the browser will automatically request from the
simulator upon receipt of the page. After returning an image, the simulator
process ends.
The simulator continues to ascertain the type of request by determining
if a page or decision was requested, as shown at 132. If a page or decision
was
requested, the simulator process evaluates if a specific page was requested,
as
described in the next paragraph and shown at 134. Otherwise it continues to
ascertain the type of request by determining if a "form" was submitted, as
shown at 146.
If a page or decision was requested, the simulator evaluates the request
to determine if a specific page was contained in the request, as shown at 134.
If
a specific page was not requested, the simulator interprets this as a request
136
for a list of the pages that exist in the current IRM, and proceeds to find
all
pages in the current IRM. It then returns a list of them to the user's browser
and
ends processing.


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If the simulator had determined that a specific page or decision was
requested at 134, the simulator continues by determining if the requested page
can be found in the current IRM at 138. If the page cannot be found, the
simulator returns a "page not found" message to the browser at 140 and ends
processing. Otherwise the simulator proceeds to execute the control flow
visitation algorithm, shown at 142, beginning at the specified page or
decision.
The control flow visitation algorithm, as will be described in detail below,
proceeds to evaluate the IRM and accumulate HTML to be returned to the
user's browser in the subsequent step, "return accumulated HTML to browser,"
as shown at 144. The control flow visitation algorithm recursively collects
all of
the user interface components that are contained within the page, and
constructs
HTML representing these components. If a decision is specified, then the
control flow visitation algorithm at 142 first evaluates the decision to
identify
the correct page and then proceeds as described above.
After the control flow visitation algorithm has completed, the simulator
proceeds to return accumulated HTML to the browser and ends.
If a page or decision was not requested at 134, the simulator continues to
ascertain what type of request was submitted, by determining if a form was
submitted, as shown at 146. If this is the case, the simulator process
continues to
process form submit, as shown at 148, and described in regard to Figure 7. The
simulator extracts all values submitted in form and packages them into data
tokens at 145 and invokes the the data flow visitation algorithm in push mode
at
147 Upon completion of the data flow visitation algorithm, the simulator
determines if a page or decision has been requested at 149 in connection with
the form submit request and invokes the control flow visitation algorithm at
151
for the page or decision.. Upon completion of processing of the form submit,
the simulatorreturns accumulated HTML to browser, as shown at 150, and ends
processing. If a form has not been submitted, the process continues to row
selection from dynamic table requested at 152.
Process row selection, depicted at 152, from a dynamic table is a
specialized process implemented by the simulator and that functions to support
the IRML primitive named "dynamic table" that is an advantageous feature of
the best mode of the present invention. A dynamic table is an IRML primitive
that can be used to emulate common behavior of computer applications wherein


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a list of data separated into rows is presented to a user and the user is
allowed to
select one of the rows for further processing. After the dynamic table has
been
presented to the user on a previous iteration of the simulator
request/response
cycle, the user may choose a row presented in the table that is then handled
by
5 this process. For example, a proposed application may present a list of
orders
placed by a client or a list of reservations made by a frequent flyer. The
proposed application user may then select one of these orders or reservations
for
further processing. The corresponding computer processing that would be
necessary for the subject application to understand which order or reservation
10 was selected by the proposed application user may be complicated and not
intuitive. This feature of the simulator is advantageous because it handles
this
processing automatically, by removing the necessity that it be specified in
the
IRM. Once the simulator has completed processing of the dynamic table row
request at 154, it returns accumulated HTML to the user's browser at 156,
15 otherwise it ends processing at 158.
The simulator 78 repeats the process described above upon receiving
additional requests from the browser, until the user makes no more requests.
Control Flow Visitation Algorithm
In general, the preferred embodiment of the control flow visitation
20 algorithm is a computer program based on a pattern found in conventional
software designs and commonly known as a "visitor pattern." It functions to
construct the simulator's response to a request from a browser. This response
appears in the browser in a manner similar to how it would appear in the
completed proposed application. This response is composed of nested HTML
25 tags, which the browser uses to present a page to the user. The control
flow
visitation algorithm is an automated process that constructs this nested set
of
HTML tags based on the IRM.
Understanding the function of the control flow visitation algorithm is
facilitated by understanding that the IRM is a collection of primitives and
the
30 relationships between and among them. In the context of the control flow
visitation algorithm, important relationships include those that designate the
flow of data, i.e., "dataflow", those that designate containment of user
interface
components, i.e., "containment", those that designate references and those
that
designate the flow of the interactive representation, i.e., "control flow".
Thus,


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an IRM can be characterized or depicted as a series of circles representing
primitives and arrows representing relationships. Such a depiction is
presented
and described in detail in regard to Figure 5.
The control flow visitation algorithm begins processing at the primitive
representing the page requested by the user, shown at 160. The control flow
visitation algorithm begins to accumulate HTML at this point by adding a tag
that represents the beginning of a page into a temporary space used to
accumulate HTML. The simulator process continues by examining the
properties of the page primitive and appending additional HTML code to the
temporary space based on these properties, including, for example, the name of
the page. The simulator then follows the containment relationships represented
by the arrows between the page primitive and the primitive contained by the
page, in this case, the form primitive shown at 162. The simulator then
appends
a tag representing the beginning of the form into the temporary space. The
simulator then examines the properties of the form primitive and adds
additional
HTML codes to the temporary space. Continuing in its recursive process, it
then
"visits" each of the contained primitives at 164, 166 and 168, in order from
left
to right, sequentially processing each primitive and adding more HTML codes
to the temporary space. The primitives depicted at 164, 166 and 168 have no
containment arrows leading from them, and therefore the simulator process
recognizes these as "tags." When processing tags, the simulator performs
several functions before appending HTML to the temporary area. For example,
the simulator determines if there are any data flow arrows pointing into the
primitive. If so the simulator begins another process, called the "data flow
visitation algorithm," which will be described in detail below. In the case of
a
constant primitive, the data flow visitation algorithm follows the arrow
backwards to the constant primitive depicted at 176, where it obtains the
value
of the constant, and ends processing. The control flow visitation algorithm
can
then complete adding the necessary HTML code to present this constant value
in the text input field specified by the text input primitive, as shown at
164, and
append this HTML code to the temporary area. This tag processing continues to
process the primitives shown at 166 and 168.
After having processed all of the contained objects, in the form
primitive, shown at 162, the control flow visitation algorithm then returns to
the


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form primitive itself. Because it has encountered this form primitive before,
the
control flow visitation algorithm now appends closing HTML code to the
temporary space, indicating the end of the form. Similarly, the control flow
visitation algorithm returns to the page primitive at 160 and appends the
closing
HTML code for the page to the temporary area. This temporary area is then
returned to the process that called the control flow visitation algorithm,
and, in
general, this accumulated HTML is returned to the user's browser.
The interactive representation experienced and seen by the user for this
example is depicted in Figure 6 In this example, a page with two text input
fields is shown. One field has a default value equal to the value stored in
the
constant, and a button, as depicted in Figure 6.
While performing the process described above, the control flow
visitation algorithm assigns a unique cross reference number to a subset of
the
user interface component primitives that it encounters. When the simulator is
operating in Meta Mode, the control flow visitation algorithm automatically
inserts HTML code into the temporary area that causes these cross reference
numbers, and their accompanying text to be displayed on the user's browser to
the immediate right of each user interface component.
Data Flow Visitation Algorithm
In general, the preferred embodiment of the data flow visitation
algorithm is a computer program based on the conventional "visitor pattern,"
much like the control flow visitor algorithm. It functions to provide a
facility for
the interactive representation to simulate the processing of data common in
proposed applications.
The data flow visitation algorithm relies on a feature provided by the
Music Client 84, another software component of the present invention that has
been previously described, in which the IRM being executed by the simulator is
kept in the memory of the computer on which the simulator and music client are
running. The data flow visitation algorithm processes a subset of the
primitives
contained in the IRM, and which are held in the computer memory, and appends
data records to this memory that represents the partial results of its
computation.
With respect to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, these data
records are referred to as "tokens." Because they are intermediate results of
the
processing of a single request from the users browser to the simulator, tokens


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are only stored in memory, and the music client is not used to store them in
the
music server. Tokens are stored in memory and associated to specific
primitives. This relationship is referred to as "tokens stored at a
primitive." In
the context of the present invention, to "cache" a token means to store it
temporarily in the computer memory at a particular primitive.
The data flow visitation algorithm begins processing when it is invoked
by the simulator, either from the control flow visitation algorithm as
previously
described or from the process form submit process 148, shown in Figure 4, or
the process row selection from dynamic table process 152, also shown in Figure
4. In the detailed description that follows, it will be shown that the data
flow
visitation algorithm, in several cases, may also be invoked by itself. This is
a
common computer programming technique referred to as "recursion" as would
be understood by an individual skilled in the art. For the purpose of the
present
invention, "recursion" is defined as "an algorithmic technique where a
function,
in order to accomplish a task, calls itself with some part of the task." This
is
also the definition found at the National Institute of Standards and
Technology
web site at http://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/recursion.html. The preferred
embodiment of the simulator utilizes the advantageous recursion features
inherent in the JavaTM language.
At the time the data flow visitation algorithm is invoked it is directed to
begin its processing at a specific primitive in the IRM and it is invoked in
one
of two modes, referred to as "push" and "pull," with their meanings implied as
each is individually described in detail below. In general, the data flow
visitation algorithm process moves data, in the form of tokens, entered by the
user during simulation, of the IRM, as well as causing primitives of the class
"action" to process the data. The data flow visitation algorithm moves the
data
along relationships between primitives called data flow relationships. Each
data
flow relationship can be thought of as an arrow connecting two primitives.
When the data flow visitation algorithm is processing a primitive and needs to
get data from a different primitive from which an arrow points, the pull mode
of
the data flow visitation algorithm is used. When the data flow visitation
algorithm has completed processing a primitive and needs to send this data


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along the data flow relationship arrows emanating from the processed
primitive,
the push mode of the data flow visitation algorithm is used.
The push mode of processing of the data flow visitation algorithm is
depicted at 200 in Figure 8. Beginning the process, the data flow visitation
algorithm evaluates what class of primitive it has been asked to process
through
a series of steps depicted at 202, 204, 230, 232 and 234. Primitive classes
are
described above. If it cannot identify the type of primitive it has been asked
to
process, the data flow visitation algorithm returns an error at 236 and ends
processing.
If the data flow visitation algorithm has been asked to process a decision
or tag primitive, it temporarily caches the token at the current primitive,
shown
at 206. In the context of the present invention, to "cache" a token means to
store
it temporarily in the computer memory that also contains the IRM. After
caching the token, the process ends.
The data flow visitation algorithm may also be asked to process a flow
label primitive at 204. To process a flow label primitive, the data flow
visitation
algorithm first determines if there is a token already cached at the flow
label
primitive, at step 208. Since the data flow visitation algorithm can be called
multiple times in the processing of a single request from the users browser to
the simulator, it is possible that the current primitive may have already been
visited by a previous execution of the data flow visitation algorithm. This
initial
check performed by the data flow visitation algorithm when processing flow
label primitives prevents duplicate tokens from being cached. If a token is
already present the process ends, otherwise the token is labeled with the name
of the flow label primitive at 210 and the token is cached for further
processing
by another execution of the data flow visitation algorithm at 212. The process
then continues as the simulator examines the IRM to determine all data flow
exits at 214. "Data flow exits" in the context of the current invention are
primitives that have data flow relationships directed to them from the current
primitive in the IRM. For each of the data flow exits that exist, the data
flow
visitation algorithm process 200 is invoked again.
If the data flow visitation algorithm has been asked to process an input
tag primitive, for example at 164 or 166 in Figure 5 , or a container tag
primitive, the simulator checks to see if a token is currently cached at the


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primitive at 216. If not, the data flow visitation algorithm process ends. If
so,
the data flow visitation algorithm process removes the token from the cache
and
proceeds to find all data flow exits, at 214, as described in detail
previously. For
example, the primitives depicted at 164 and 166 both have a data flow exit to
5 the primitive at 174 in Figure 5. Typically, this processing of input tag
primitives and containers occurs during the execution of the data flow
visitation
algorithm process when it is called from the process from submit step 145.
Because step 145 has already cached the data submitted by the user, this
process
simply has the effect of advancing the tokens to the data flow exits that are
10 related in the IRM to the primitive being processed.
If the data flow visitation algorithm has been asked to process an action
primitive at 232, the data flow visitation algorithm first determines if the
action
has already been executed at 220, and if it has the data flow visitation
algorithm
ends processing. If the action has not yet been executed, the data flow
visitation
15 algorithm caches the current token at the action primitive, at step 222 and
proceeds to find all inputs to the action that have not yet had tokens stored
at the
primitive for them, at step 224. Actions cannot be executed by the data flow
visitation algorithm or simulator unless all of the needed inputs to the
action
have been cached at the action primitive by the data flow visitation
algorithm,
20 therefore, the data flow visitation algorithm evaluates all data flow
inputs at step
226 before continuing. In the context of the present invention, "data flow
inputs" refer to primitives that have data flow relationships directed to the
current action primitive in the IRM. If no token is cached for one or more of
the
data flow inputs, the process continues to step 228, where the data flow
25 visitation algorithm is invoked in pull mode to obtain the needed tokens.
This
step 228 is bypassed if all necessary tokens are cached at the action
primitive.
The process continues by executing the action at step 238. Execution of the
action is performed by placing all of the tokens that have been cached at the
action primitive by the data flow visitation algorithm and invoking a java sub-

30 routine that handles the actual processing of the action. The behavior of
each
action primitive, i.e., the behavior of its specific java sub-routine, is
discussed in
Table II. After the Java sub-routine has completed processing, the execute
action step 228 continues by collecting the data token(s) that has(have)
resulted
from the execution. This(these) data token(s) are then passed along for


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additional processing by the find all data flow exits step 214, and
subsequently
by another invocation of the data flow visitation algorithm, as was previously
described in the context of processing flow label primitives.
If the data flow visitation algorithm has been asked to process a model
reference at 234, the data flow visitation algorithm first caches the current
token
at the model reference primitive 242. Similar to the processing for actions
described in detail above, the data flow visitation algorithm evaluates if all
data
flow inputs for the model reference have cached tokens at 244 and 240. If so,
the process ends. Otherwise, the data flow visitation algorithm 246 is invoked
in
pull mode for each of the primitives for which no token was cached. Note that
the data flow visitation algorithm does not cause the primitive referenced by
the
model reference primitive to be executed; this invocation is left to the
control
flow visitor process described in detail above.
The other mode of processing embodied in the data flow visitation
algorithm is the pull mode, which is depicted at 300 in Figure 9. To begin the
pull process, the data flow visitation algorithm evaluates what class of
primitive
it has been asked to process through a series of steps depicted at 302, 304,
306,
308 and 310. Primitive classes are shown in the first column of Tables II - V.
If
it cannot identify the type of primitive it has been asked to process, the
data
flow visitation algorithm returns an error at 312 and ends processing.
If the data flow visitation algorithm operating in pull mode has been
asked to process a constant primitive at 302, the data flow visitation
algorithm
examines the constant primitive and extracts the value(s) stored with the
constant primitive in the IRM, at step 314. These values are then placed in a
token which is returned, at 316, to the process that invoked the data flow
visitation algorithm in pull mode. The process then ends.
If the data flow visitation algorithm operating in pull mode has been
asked to process a flow label primitive at 304, the data flow visitation
algorithm
first determines if there is a token already cached at the flow label
primitive, at
step 318. If there is a token cached, it is returned at 316, to the process
that
invoked the data flow visitation algorithm in pull mode. The process then
ends.
If there is not token cached, the process continues by invoking the data flow
visitation algorithm in pull mode at 320 for the data flow input associated
with
the current flow label primitive. Note that IRML connection rules, as detailed
in


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Tables IV and V, ensure that only one and only one data flow input will be
present. When the data flow visitation algorithm process invoked at 320
completes, the returned token is labeled with the name of the data flow label
primitive at 322. The data flow visitation algorithm continues by caching the
returned and named token at the data flow label primitive at 324 and finding
all
data flow exits, as was previously described, at 326. The data flow visitation
algorithm is then invoked in push mode at 328. After the data flow visitation
algorithm invoked at 328 completes, the token cached at 324 is returned to the
process that called the data flow visitation algorithm in pull mode, and the
data
flow visitation algorithm process ends.
If the data flow visitation algorithm operating in pull mode has been
asked to process an input tag primitive at 306, the data flow visitation
algorithm
first determines if a token is cached at the input tag primitive at 330. If no
token
is cached, an empty token, i.e., a token containing no data, is returned to
the
process that invoked the data flow visitation algorithm, depicted at 332. If a
cached token is found at the input tag primitive, it is removed from the cache
at
the input tag in step 334, returned to the calling process at 336 and the data
flow
visitation algorithm process ends.
If the data flow visitation algorithm process operating in pull mode has
been asked to process an action primitive at 308, the data flow visitation
algorithm first determines last primitive "visited" by the process that
invoked
the data flow visitation algorithm in pull mode, as depicted at 336. The last
visited primitive's identifier, referred to as the origin, is stored
temporarily at
step 336 to allow the correct token to be returned to the process that invoked
the
data flow visitation algorithm in the later step 346, which shall be described
in
detail below. The process continues by finding all data flow inputs to the
action
primitive being processed for which a token has not been cached, which is
depicted at step 338. If the data flow visitation algorithm determines that
all
data flow inputs have not already been cached at 340, it invokes the data flow
visitation algorithm in pull mode for each of the missing tokens, at 342.
After
the data flow visitation algorithm invoked at 342 has returned the necessary
token(s), or if the data flow visitation algorithm had determined that all
data
flow inputs had already been cached at 340, the data flow visitation algorithm
continues to step 344. In step 344, the data flow visitation algorithm
determines


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if the action primitive it has been asked to process has already been
executed. If
the action has already been executed, the data flow visitation algorithm,
using
the identifier stored in step 336, returns the appropriate token for the
origin at
step 346 to the process that invoked the data flow visitation algorithm in
pull
mode. If the action has not been executed, the data flow visitation algorithm
process continues to 354, "execute action." Execution of the action is
performed
by placing all of the tokens that have been cached at the action primitive by
the
data flow visitation algorithm and invoking a java sub-routine that handles
the
actual processing of the action. The behavior of each action primitive, i.e.,
the
behavior of its specific java sub-routine is discussed in Table II. After the
Java
sub-routine has completed processing, the execute action step 354 continues by
collecting the data token(s) that has(have) resulted from the execution. This
(these) data token(s) are then passed along for additional processing by the
find
all data flow exits step 356, and subsequently by another invocation of the
data
flow visitation algorithm in push mode at 358. After the invocation of the
data
flow visitation algorithm at 358 has completed, the process proceeds to return
the appropriate token to the process that invoked the data flow visitation
algorithm at 346, as was previously described.
If the data flow visitation algorithm operating in pull mode has been
asked to process a model reference primitive, as depicted at 310, the data
flow
visitation algorithm determines the origin for the request at 348 as
previously
described in the context of processing action primitives. After completing
step
348, the data flow visitation algorithm determines if the current model
reference
primitive has already been executed, and, if so returns the appropriate token
for
the origin at step 352, which is identical to the previously described step
346.
The data flow visitation algorithm process then ends. If the data flow
visitation
algorithm determines that the model reference primitive has not been executed
at 350, it proceeds to collect the necessary inputs to the action at steps
360, 362
and 364. The processing performed by these steps is identical to that
previously
described for steps 338, 340 and 342 respectively. After step 364 has been
completed, the data flow visitation algorithm returns an empty token to the
process that had called it in pull mode and ends processing.


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Use of the Invention
With reference to Figures 10-43 use of the present invention will be
described, particularly in regard to the preferred embodiment as described
above. In this regard it is the people who participate in the application
definition
process by managing requirements, building the IRM, or validating an IR of the
application to whom the following description of the invention is directed.
Also,
this description of how to use the invention is presented in two sections, the
first
section directed to the interactive, network online interface, and the second
directed to the interactive representation model creation and modification
interface.
Referring to Figure 2, the web-based interface application 76 and simulator
application 78 of the present invention is installed on server 90 and
communicates with a browser 70. Each user accesses the interface and/or
simulator applications to manage the requirements and access the interactive
representation, sometimes referred to as the "simulation," for a prospective
application. In accordance with terms accepted in the art, individual screens
presented by the web-based interface are sometimes referred to as "pages."
Accessing the Online Interface
The web interface of the present invention is accessed in a conventional
fashion through a convention web browser that has access to a server that is
hosting the software of the present invention. After completing conventional
log-on procedures, the user will be presented with a default screen 400,
sometimes referred to as a dashboard, similar to that shown in Figure 10. A
typical screen will have a main menu, an application selector and a logout
button.
Using the Dashboard Screen
The dashboard 400 contains filtered requirement lists for example "My
Requests" 402, "My Discussions" 404, and a filtered list of tasks, labeled "My
Tasks" and shown at 406 as shown in Figure 400.The dashboard also contains
search functionality that allows the user to search the requirements
repository
for a word, phrase or requirement identifier. The requirements listed in each
of
the filter sections on the dashboard are ordered with the most recently
updated
requirement at the top. To view all the requirements in a list, the name of
the list
is clicked, for example "My Requests" 402. To collapse the requirements list,


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the down-arrow link is clicked, for example arrow 408 for the "My
Requirements" list. A second click on the arrow is used to expand the
requirements list.
The repository may be searched, through use of the search feature 410
located at the top of the dashboard. The word, phrase, or identifier for the
requirement(s) for the desired search is typed, and one of the radio buttons
412
(any), 414 (all), 416, (phrase) or 1418 (identifier) that corresponds to the
type of
search criteria desired is clicked. The server will then present a page (not
shown) containing the results of the search.
Creating and Modifying Requirements
There are two ways to create requirements in the repository through the
web-based interface. One way, described in Adding Requirements in Meta
mode below, allows users to add requirements in context during simulation
operating in Meta mode. Alternatively, users can add requirements to the
repository by using the Requirements / Create Requirements main menu option,
in conventional fashion, to create a new requirement. Similarly, users can
modify existing requirements in the repository by using the
Requirements/Modify Requirement main menu option, in conventional fashion.
The screen or page used to create or modify a requirement is sometimes
referred
to as the "requirement edit page." In addition to the name and text
description of
the requirement, the attributes listed in Table VI below can be assigned to
the
requirement. The table also describes the meaning of the attribute and its
allowable values.
2002 iRise, Inc.
Table VI - Requirement Attributes
Attribute Description Allowable Values
Subtype The subtype Selected from a drop-
assigned to the down list containing the range of
requirement. potential Subtype values
established by the system
administrator.


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Scope Indicates Selected from a drop-

if the down list containing the values
requirement is `Undecided', `In Scope'
considered in scope. and `Out of Scope'.

Release The Release of Selected from a drop-
the prospective down list containing the releases
application that will established by the administrator.
meet the requirement. A release can only be assigned if
the Scope attribute is set to
something other than
`Undecided'.

Requestor The person Selected from a drop-
who requested the down list containing all the users
requirement. that have access to the current
application.

Assigned To The person Selected from a drop-
who is responsible for down list containing all the users
the next workflow step that have access to the current
for the requirement. application.

Priority The priority or Selected from a drop-
importance of the down list containing the values
requirement. established by the administrator

Estimate The estimated Any alphanumeric text.
amount of effort
required to implement
the requirement.

Modeled Designates if True or False, as
the requirement is represented by a checkbox.
represented in the
IRM.


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Locked Designates if True or False, as
the requirement has represented by a checkbox..
been locked (i.e.
marked read only)

Testing Describes a Any alphanumeric text.
Scenario test scenario that will
verify that a particular
requirement has been
met.

Implementation Describes a Any alphanumeric text.
Notes recommended
implementation
approach.
Creating and Modifying Tasks
Users acting in a project or team management capacity can use tasks to
manage and track the activities and responsibilities of individuals involved
in
the process of collecting and validating requirements for the prospective
application. A task represents a unit of work that may have a start date, end
date, assignee and a list of associated requirements. There are two ways to
create a task, using the Tasks /Create Task main menu option, where by the
user can create an isolated task that has no association to any requirement or
defect report; and using the `Create Task' button on the requirement edit or
defect report edit pages, whereby the user can create a task that is
automatically
associated to the requirement or defect report being edited. In either case,
the
create task page is presented, which allows the user to record the name,
description and other attributes for the task. Similarly, users can modify
existing
tasks in the repository by using the Tasks/Modify Task main menu option, in
conventional fashion. The screen or page used to create or modify a
requirement
is sometimes referred to as the "task edit page." In addition to a task name
and
description, the following Table VII lists task attributes available in the
preferred embodiment, describes attributes and the range of acceptable values
for these attributes.


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2002 iRise, Inc.
Table VII - Task Attributes
Attribute Description Values

Action The action that Selected from a drop-down list
the assignee is containing: Implement, Model,
responsible for Review, Release, Resolve, Revise,
completing. Schedule Implementation, Test or
Other.

Status The status of Selected from a drop-down list
the task containing `Complete' and
'Incomplete'.

Build The build that Selected from a list of all builds
the task will affect. created by the administrator.

Assigned By The user that Selected from a list of all users
assigned the task. with access to the application.

Assigned To The user that is selected from a list of all users
responsible for with access to the application.
completing the task.

Planned The planned Any date in MM/DD/YYYY
Start, End start and end date for format.
the task

Actual Start, The actual start Any date in MM/DD/YYYY
End and end data for the format.
task
Associations The N/A
associations that exist
between the task and
other Requirements in
the repository


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Creating and Modifying Defect Reports
There are two ways to create a defect report , using the Defect /Create
Defect main menu option, whereby the user can create an isolated defect that
has no association to any other requirement; and using the `Create DR' button
on the requirement edit page, whereby the user can create a defect that is
automatically associated to the requirement being edited. In either case, the
create defect report page is presented, which allows the user to record the
name,
description and attributes for the defect report. Similarly, users can modify
existing defect reports in the repository by using the Requirements/Modify
Requirement main menu option, in conventional fashion. The screen or page
used to create or modify a defect report is sometimes referred to as the
"defect
report edit page." The attributes that can be entered for a defect report are
listed
in Table VIII, below, along with the description of the attribute and the
range of
allowable values for the attributes.
2002 iRise, Inc.
Table 8 - Defect Report Attributes
Attribute Description Values
Subtype The subtype for Selected from a drop-down
the defect. containing the Subtype values
established by the administrator.
Described in the Administrators
Guide.

[Defect] The defect Selected from a drop-down
Status status. Note: this is containing the Defect Status values
separate from the established by the administrator.
requirement status Described in the Administrators
attribute. Guide.

Severity The severity of Selected from a drop down
the defect. containing Critical, High, Medium
and Low.


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Discovered The code build Selected from a drop-down
in Build that produced the bug. containing a list of builds defined by
the administrator. Described in the
Administrators Guide.

Scope Determines if Selected from a drop-down
the defect fix is in containing `In Scope' and `Out of
scope. Scope'

Release If `In Scope', Selected from a drop-down
determines which containing a list of releases defined
release will contain the by the administrator. Described in
bug fix. the Administrators Guide.

Reported By The user who Selected from a drop-down
reported the defect. containing a list of users with access
to the current application.

Assigned To The user who is Selected from a drop-down
currently responsible containing a list of users with access
for the defect. to the current application.

Priority The priority Selected from a drop-down
associated to the defect containing a list of priorities defined
repair effort. by the administrator. Described in
the Administration Guide.

Estimate The effort or Text Input.
time required fixing the
defect.
Modeled Determines if Checkbox.
the proper functionality
has been modeled.

Classifications
Requirements and defect reports can be organized into appropriate
hierarchical classifications for additional context and organization in
conventional fashion. An advantageous feature of the current invention is that
a


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requirement may be designated to more than one classification simultaneously.
Classifications can be used organize lists of requirements on pages and
printed
reports, in conventional fashion.
Notifications
Notifications refers to a feature that allows users to receive email
messages when a requirement, defect report, or task is changed. These email
messages, which are automatically generated by the invention, include the
information previously recorded for the requirement, the new information
recorded and the user that made the change. A user may be added to the
notification list when creating or editing a requirement, defect report or
task, by
selecting the user names that should be notified from a list of the users with
access to the system that are not currently designated to receive
notifications,
and moving it to the list of users that are currently designated to receive
notifications. Users names may also be moved from the list of users that are
currently designated to receive notifications and moved to the list of users
with
access to the system that are not designated to receive notifications.
Relationships
Users may designate a list of requirements that are related to a particular
requirement by selecting said requirements from a list of the requirements in
the
repository in conventional fashion. Similarly, relationships between and among
requirements, defect reports and tasks can be established.
Change History
A complete change history is maintained automatically for every
requirement, change request and defect report in the repository. To view the
change history the user opens the requirement, change request, or defect
report
in edit mode, clicks on the "History" tab. A list of all changes, the
modifying
user, and the modification dates is then displayed. Optionally the `Select
View'
drop down to filter may be used to filter the change history by a particular
type
of change, for example, to show only changes to the status attribute.
Discussions
The Discussion feature allows users to converse regarding a particular
requirement, defect report or change request, in the form of an on-line
threaded
discussion, as would be understood by an individual skilled in the art. The
record of such a conversation are stored in the repository so they can be
referred


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to at any point for decisions, opinions and general information submitted by
the
discussion participants.
Attachments
Attachments allow you to add supporting documents to the repository. This
can be useful, for example, when a diagram clarifies a requirement or a screen
image supports a defect report. To add an attachment to a requirement, or
defect report:
1) Click on the Attachments tab.
2) In the `Create New Attachment' area, click on the Browse button.
3) Pick the attachment to upload from the local file system.
4) Click on the `Attach File' button to upload the file.
Once the file has been uploaded, it is part of the attachment pool in the
repository that contains all the files that have been uploaded for the current
prospective application.
Alternatively, a requirement can be tied to any file that exists in the
attachment pool instead of uploading the same file twice. This is useful if
the
user has a number of requirements that are supported by one document.
To attach a requirement to a file in the attachment pool:
1) Click on the View List button in the `Create New Attachment' area.
The Attachment page will refresh showing the attachment pool.
2) Click on the file name to attach a file in the pool to the current
requirement. The page will refresh and the file name will be listed in
the `Current Attachments' list.
If a requirement has an attachment, then an attachment icon will be
displayed on the Attachment tab. Typically, the icon will appear to be a sheet
of
paper with a corner folded over and a paperclip on the top of the paper.
To delete an attachment from a requirement:
1) In the `Current Requirements' list, select the Delete checkbox for the
attachments to delete.
2) Click on the Delete button and the checked attachments will be
removed from the current requirement. Note: if no other requirement
is attached to the deleted file, then it will also be remove from the
attachment pool.


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Viewing Requirements, Defect Reports and Tasks
Existing requirements and defect reports can be viewed in a variety of
conventional manners using the Requirement/View Requirements main menu
option Tasks can be viewed in a similar conventional fashion using the
Task/View Tasks main menu option. The View Requirements page is organized
into two major areas: the filter area and the list area. The filter area
contains a
set of conventional filters that allow the user to view a subset of all the
requirements and defect reports in the repository. The list area contains the
subset of the requirements or defect reports. Once any filter, or variety
thereof is
selected, pressing the "Go" button will apply the filters and refresh the
list. The
format of the requirement list is can be presented in a variety of fashions by
selecting a format from the drop-down list named "Format". The preferred
options are described in Table IX below.

Table IX - List Format Options
Format Description

List Organizes the requirement list by classification in a non-
hierarchical manner, i.e. all classifications are presented in a flat
list.

Expanding the classification reveals a list of requirements,
change requests, and defect reports, displaying the identifier,
Status, and Name attributes

Detail Organizes the requirements list by classification in a non-
hierarchical manner, i.e. all classifications are presented in a flat
list.

Expanding the classification reveals a list of requirements,
change requests, and defect reports, displaying the identifier, Type,
Subtype, Status, Scope, Release, Requestor, Modification Date,
Modifier, Name and Requirement Text attributes


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Hierarchy Organizes the requirement list according to the
classification hierarchy.

Expanding a particular classification reveals all the
children classifications, requirements, change requests, and defect
reports.

Grid Organizes the requirement list by classification in a non-
hierarchical manner, i.e. all classifications are presented in a flat
list.

Expanding a classification reveals a list of requirements,
change requests, and defect reports, and allows you to edit the
following attributes: Locked

Assigned To
Priority
Status

Estimate
Subtype
Severity
Scope
Release

Custom and Quick Filters
Custom Filters define a predefined, customizable set of conditions that can
quickly filter the list as desired. They can be used to apply, delete or edit
an
existing custom filter, as well as create a new custom filter. These actions
are
accomplished in a conventional fashion and the selection of particular filter
criteria is considered to be within the ordinary skill of the art.
Quick filters allow the user to apply and combine attribute-based filters
to the requirement list. When multiple quick filters are selected, the result
set
includes all requirements that meet ALL of the specified filter criteria. For
example, if the Requested By quick filter is set to 'userl' and the Status
quick


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filter is set to `approved', then all the results shown in the requirements
will be
requested by userl and `approved' in status.

Classification Filter
The classification filter allows the user to filter out requirements that are
not contained by the classification selected in the classification filter drop-

down. To filter by classification the user selects the classification that
contains
the requirements desired, and their requirements will be recursively included
in
the list.

Search Filter
The search filter allows the user to search the entire repository or the
filtered requirements currently presented on the list for a word, phrase, or
requirement identifier. To search for a requirement, the word, phrase or
identifier of the requirement desired is typed in the search criteria prompt.
Then
the radio button that represents type of search criteria being used is clicked
and
the `Go' button is clicked to execute the search. When the page is refreshed,
only requirements that contain the specified search criteria are included in
the
list.

The List Area
The list area displays a set of requirements that meet the filter criteria
specified in the Filter Area of the View Requirements page. The requirements
are organized by classification, and formatted according to the Format drop-
down in the filter area.
Expanding and Collapsing Classifications
The default view for the lists area shows a list of the classifications that
contain requirements that meet the filter criteria. Each classification is
collapsed
by default. To expand a classification and examine its contents, the user
clicks
on the (+) symbol to the left of the classification name. Alternatively, the
user
may click the `Expand All' button to expand all collapsed classifications.
Similarly, to collapse a classification, the (-) symbol is clicked or the
`Collapse
All' button is used.

Deleting Requirements or Defect Reports
To remove a requirement or defect report from the repository:


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1) Use the Requirements /View Requirements main menu option to
display a list of requirements and defect reports.
2) Find the requirement to delete in the requirement list (using the
filters if necessary)
3) Click on the requirement text or title to edit the requirement.
4) Use the classification drop-down to select the "Trash" classification.
Requirements designated to the Trash classification are automatically
filtered out of all requirements lists, so they are essentially stored in a
deleted
state. To remove a requirement out of the trash, open the Trash classification
in
the View requirements list, find the requirement to revive, and use the
classification drop down to put the requirement into a classification other
than
Trash.
Using Reports
The reporting feature of the preferred embodiment includes two pre-built
reporting templates that the user can use to produce electronic reports of
data
contained in the repository that can be subsequently printed; the Functional
Specification Report, sometimes referred to as the "FSR" and the Requirements
Inventory Report, sometimes referred to as the "RIR." These reports are
described in detail below.
By default, both reports draw on the data that exists in the repository at
the time report is generated. However, the user can produce historical reports
using by specifying a previously created version tag, as described below.
Functional Specification Report
With reference to figures 11 - 14, the Functional Specification Report
contains at least one image of a page from the interactive representation
rendered by the simulator depicted in Figure 11 at 502. The image is identical
to
what a user would see when executing the interactive representation using the
simulator component, as previously described, in Meta mode, also as previously
described. In addition the functional specification report contains, with
reference to Figure 12, a list of the requirements associated with the page
presented at 502 and/or the user interface components contained therein. Only
requirements that are associated to the pages included in the report will be
printed in the FSR. Additionally and with reference to Figure 13, the FSR may
optionally contain a summarization of the control flow connections that


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originate from the primitives contained on the page(s) included in the report
at
508. This section includes the name and an icon indicating the type of the
primitive from which the control flow connection originates and the name and
an icon indicating type of the primitive at which the control flow terminates.
If
the control flow terminates at a decision, this section of the report shows
the
name of the decision, the labels on its branches (e.g., T, F, 0,1,2,3), and
the
name and an icon representing the type of the primitive at which the control
flow from these branches terminate. Additionally, the FSR shows the name of
all decision primitives and pages that have contained primitives with control
flow connections terminating at the page that is the subject of the report,
along
with an icon indicating their type.
Furthermore, with reference to Figure 14, the FSR optionally includes a
list of all primitives contained on the page that have data flow connections
terminating at them at 510, along with primitives name, an icon indicating the
type of primitive, the data flow label for the connection, an icon
representing
the type of the primitive that is the source of the data flow connection and
the
name of the primitive that is the source of the data flow connection..
Furthermore, with reference to Figure 14, the FSR optionally includes a
list of primitives contained on the page that have data flow connections
originating from them at 512, along with an icon indication the type of the
primitive. In addition the name of the connecting data flow's label, and the
name and an icon representing the type of the primitive at which the data flow
terminates. If the data flow terminates at a primitive, and that primitive has
data
flow connections originating from it, the reports continues listing connection
information, with new primitives starting a new line, until all primitives
that are
connected by data flow are encountered and listed on the report. In the
preferred
embodiment, the studio component includes a feature that would prevent users
from creating an IRM that would cause the FSR's process to experience an
endless loop. Furthermore, in practice, most regions of interconnected
dataflow
are not more than 5 levels deep.
These report sections are advantageous features of the present invention,
because they communicate the requirements in the context of static images
extracted from the interactive representation, as well as control and data
flow


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connection information that is useful the individuals that will be designing
and
programming the prospective application.
In the preferred embodiment, the FSR is delivered as an HTML document
that can be displayed and printed by a browser. To generate the FSR:
1) Click on Reports /Generate Reports in the main menu.
2) Optionally pick a version tag to produce a historical report.
3) Select the Functional Specification Report radio button.
4) Click on the `Customize Report' button. The server will present the
FSR parameter screen.
5) Type a Title and a Header for the report.
6) Select the pages to include in the report by clicking on the page
name in the `Available' list and clicking on the (>) button to move
the selected pages to the `Selected Pages' list. Use Ctrl and Shift to
select multiple pages.
7) Set the Modeled filter to include Modeled, Not Modeled, or all
requirements associated to the selected pages.
8) Optionally pick the `Number Elements on Page Images'. This will
produce the screen shots in Meta mode so the requirements can be
easily tied to their associated widget.
9) Optionally pick `Show all Requirement Attributes' to include
attributes for each requirement included in the report.
10) Optionally pick `Dataflow On' to include a data flow section for
each page in the report.
11) Optionally pick `Navigation On' to include the navigation flow
section for each page in the report.
12) Select the desired print orientation option.
13) Click on the `Create Report' button.
Requirement Inventory Report
The Requirement Inventory Report (RIR) contains the set of requirements
that meet filters applied on the report parameter page. The report is produced
in
PDF format, making it easy to distribute. To generate the Requirement
Inventory Report:
1) Click on Reports/Generate Reports in the main menu.


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2) Optionally pick a version to produce a historical report.
3) Select the Requirement Inventory Report radio button.
4) Click on the `Customize Report' button. The server will present the
RIR parameter screen.
5) Use the filter area at the top of the RIR parameter page to determine
what requirements should be included in the report.
6) Type a Title, Header, and Footer for the report.
7) Optionally elect to `Include Table of Contents.'
8) Select the print orientation.
9) Select the preferred sorting options.
10) Optionally elect to also print associated requirements, change
requests, or defect reports.
11) Click on the `Create Report' button.
The server will present the RIR report in PDF format in a new browser
window. Figure 17 shows a sample of the RIR content.
Creating Version Tags
Version tags are bookmarks in the history of an application simulator
application. The reporting feature can use version tags to generate historical
reports. To generate a version tag:
1) Select Reports c* Version Tags from the main menu.
2) Click on the `Create a New Version' button.
3) Type in a Version Number, Name and Description.
4) Click on the `Create Button'. The server will attach the current date
and time to the version tag.
Reports can now be optionally run against the version tag to produce
historical views of the database.
Simulating the Proposed Application
As the project team iteratively builds the IRM in concert with the
requirement data for a proposed application, all users with access to the
application may view and validate the simulation for that proposed application
through the online interface. To simulate the proposed application the menu
option Simulate/Simulate from the main menu is selected.. The system will
display a browser window containing a list of pages in the IRM. Clicking on
the
name of a page initiates a simulation session. The interactive representation
of


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proposed application can be viewed in one of two modes: Clean or Meta. The
buttons at the top of the simulation page can be used to toggle between Clean
and Meta mode.
Meta Mode
With reference to Figure 20, The Meta mode shows the simulated page
with superscript enumerations uniquely identifying all the visible user
interface
components in the simulation area 437. The Meta mode also includes an add
requirement area 435 that allows users to add and view requirements that
describe the simulated page, without needing to return to the create
requirements page, and a list of the requirements associated with the visible
user
interface components at 439, enumerated with corresponding numbers.
Adding Requirements in Meta Mode
Users can add requirements to the repository using the `Add
Requirement' section of the Meta mode page. To add a requirement:

1) Click on the superscript number of the widget that you want to
create a requirement for.
2) Type the name and requirement text for the new requirement.
3) Optionally fill out the other requirement attributes.
4) Optionally select the classification that will contain the requirement.
5) Click on the `Add Requirement' button.
Viewing Associated Requirements in Meta Mode
All requirements that are currently associated to the simulated page or
elements on the simulated page are shown in a list below the simulated page
439. The requirements are organized into groups labeled according to the
element to which they are associated.. Figure 20 shows the simulation in Meta
mode and highlights the relationship between the requirements and their
associated user interface components. For example line 432 highlights the
relationship between the list page (with superscript 1) and the requirement
numbered 1. Similarly, for example, line 433 highlights the association
between the user interface element superscripted 13 with the requirement
number 13.


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Clean Mode
The Clean mode allows users to view the simulated application in its
purest form, and an example screen is shown in Figure 21. The buttons 434 and
436 in the upper-right area of the simulation window allow the user to toggle
between clean mode 436 and Meta mode 434. Clean mode displays the pure
prototype HTML without any superscripts or requirement data. This allows
users to get a more realistic feel for the application being defined.
Simulcasting a Simulation Session
The simulcastor component allows multiple users to follow a leading user
who is exiting an interactive representation model. Any user may lead or
follow
a simulcast session. To start and lead a simulcast session:
1) Click on Simulate /Simulcast in the main menu. The server will
present the Simulcastor page in a new browser window.
2) Pick the subject application to use in the simulcast session.
3) Click on the `Lead Simulation' button. The server will present a
page confirming that that user is leading the simulcast. Any users
following the simulcast will be listed in the `Participants' list.
4) Click on the `Simulation Home Page' to go to the page directory for
the application that is simulcasting. As the lead user clicks through
the application, the users following the simulcast session will see the
same pages.
5) When finished, click on the `Stop Leading' button.
To follow a simulation session:
1) Click on Simulate / Simulcast in the main menu. The server will
present the Simulcastor page in a new browser window.
2) Pick the application that will be simulcast.
3) Click on the `Follow Simulation' button. The prototype pages
presented to the leader as the leader of the simulcast session uses the
simulation will also be presented to each follower.
4) During the simulcast session, the simulation seen as a follower is
`live', meaning that the user may use the pages as desired, until the
session leader changes pages. At that point the server will present
the leader's new page to all the simulcast followers.


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The StudioTM Interface Software Application
The StudioTM interface allows the user to build the proposed
application's interactive representation that is iteratively validated through
simulation. The Studio client is started by double-clicking on the Studio icon
on
the client computer. When the login window appears, the user may or must
provide the data listed in Table X below, before beginning a Studio session.
Table VIII - Studio Login Window Data

Data Description
Username The user's username, must be provided.
Password The user's password, must be provided
Server The hostname or EP address, must be provided.
Port The port on which the music server is running,
must be provided.

SSL A checkbox signifying whether the music server
should be communicated with using the HTTP or the
HTTPS protocols.

Proxy A checkbox signifying whether the music server
should be contacted through a proxy.

Address The hostname or IP address of the proxy server
Port The port on which the proxy server is running
.Building the Interactive Representation Model
Adding Primitives
Primitives are the building blocks that allow the user to rapidly build the
IRM. In general, primitives can be added to the IRM in three different ways,
depending on user preference:
1) Using the toolbar
2) Using the right-click menu options
3) Using the Insert main menu options


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Adding a Primitives from the Toolbar
To add primitives from the toolbar, two options are available. The drag-
and-drop approach allows the user to drag an element from the toolbar area and
drop it at the desired location in the IRM. The insertion point approach
allows
the user to place the insertion point where the user wants the element to be
located on the whiteboard The raised buttons on the toolbar that represent the
element wanted are simply clicked to add.

Adding a Primitives from the Right Click Menu Options
To add a primitive from the right click menu:
1) Right click on the location where the new primitives is wanted.
2) Follow the New submenu to find the primitives that is to be
added.
3) Click on the desired primitive. The elements that cannot be
inserted at the selected location will be disabled in the menu.
Adding a Primitives from the Insert Main Menu Options
To add a primitive from the Insert main menu option:
1) Place the insertion point where the user wants to insert the new
primitive.
2) Click on the Insert main menu option.
3) Follow the submenu to find the primitives to add.
4) Click on the desired primitive. The elements that cannot be
inserted at the selected location will be disabled in the menu.
Adding Pages
Pages are special primitives. They are used throughout the application as
references and organizational structures. Pages are `top level' primitives:
They
can only be inserted directly on the gray area of the whiteboard. The Page
icon
is typically an illustration of a sheet of paper, not shown, in vertical
orientation
and with a corner folded over.
Adding Primitives to Pages
User interface primitives are pages and any other primitives as identified
in Table II above primitives that can be contained in a page. User interface


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primitives are shown as Toolbar Icons. In general, a user can add a primitive
to
a page by following the process described in the adding primitives section.
However, some user interface - tag primitives, e.g. the select primitive, text
input primitive, etc., must be contained by the form primitive.
Using the Radio Button Primitive
The radio button primitive allows the simulation user to pick one value
from a set of options. The options are defined by the first data flow
connected to
the radio button primitive. Additionally, the second data flow connected to
the
radio button primitive can be used to define the radio button option that is
selected by default when the simulator presents the page. To create a radio
button set:
1) Add a radio button primitive into a form.
2) Define the name of the radio button primitive.
3) Select the layout of the radio button set (vertical or horizontal).
4) Click OK.
5) Add the first data flow line leading to the radio button primitive
to define the domain values (i.e. options) available in the radio
button set. This can be accomplished using a Constant or data
flow from another action (e.g. unpack, session or find). During
simulation, one option will appear in the radio button set for each
data object or element that is available through the data flow.
If there is only one data flow input for the radio button primitive, then
by default no option will be selected when the page is displayed in
simulation.
However, the user can use a second data flow input to define the default
value.
If the value of the second data flow matches one of the values in the first
data
flow input, then that value will be selected be default. If the value of the
second
data flow does NOT match one of the values in the first data flow input, then
the second data flow value will be added to the radio button set and set as
the
default.
Using the Select Primitive
The select primitive allows the user to add drop-down lists, also known as
`selects' to the IRM. Like a radio button primitive, the select primitive
allows
the simulation user to pick one value from a set of options. The list of
options


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available to the simulation user is defined by the first data flow input
connected
to the primitive. The second (optional) data flow input connected to the
primitive can be used to set a default value that appears when the page
containing the select primitive is simulated. To add a select primitive:
1) Drop a select primitive into a form.
2) Define the name of the select primitive.
3) Optionally define the size of the select primitive. The size
attribute determines how many options are visible
simultaneously in the simulation.
4) Click OK.
5) Add the first data flow input to the select primitive to define the
domain values (i.e. options) available in the simulated drop-
down set. This can be accomplished using a Constant or data
flow from another action (e.g. unpack, session or find). During
simulation, one option will appear in the drop-down set for each
data object or element that is available through the first data
flow.
If there is only one data flow input line connected to the select primitive,
then by default the first value in the data flow input (e.g. the first value
listed in
the Constant) will be the default value when the drop-down is displayed in
simulation. However, the user can use a second data flow input to define a
different default value. If the value of the second data flow matches one of
the
values in the first data flow input, then that value will be selected be
default. If
the value of the second data flow does NOT match one of the values in the
first
data flow input, then the second data flow value will be added to the select
options and set as the default.
Using Button Primitives
Button primitives allow the user to represent HTML button inputs. They
primarily exist to submit form data and allow page navigation. To create a
button:
1) Drop a button primitive into a form.
2) Define the name and the value of the button. The name will be
shown in the Studio application whiteboard and the Value will
be shown on the face of the button in the simulation. Click OK.


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3) Alternatively create navigation flow from the button to the
appropriate page or navigation decision. If the button does not
have outgoing navigation flow, then when the user presses it in
simulation, the parent form will be submitted but the same page
will be represented.
To use an image as the face of a button:
1) Access the properties of the button to change.
2) Change the Type property to Image.
3) Click on the Set button to set the image source.
4) Pick an image from the local drive and click open.
5) Click OK in the property editor.
Using Conditional HTML Primitives
Conditional HTML (CHTML) primitives allow the user to add dynamic
presentation logic to the interactive representation. Depending on the single
data
flow input, the CHTML displays one of its numerous branches. Similar to
navigation decisions, CHTML primitives can exist in Boolean or integer mode.
In Boolean mode, the CHTML logic is based on the existence of incoming data
flow. In integer mode, the CHTML logic is based on the value of the incoming
data flow. A CHTML primitive is in Boolean mode until a third branch has
been added, at which time the primitive is transformed automatically assumes
integer mode. To create display logic:
1) Drop a conditional HTML primitive into a page on the whiteboard.
2) Define a name for the CHTML primitive.
3) Click OK.
4) Add the first branch to the CHTML primitive by dropping a
primitive into the CHTML primitive. A `F' will appear in the upper
right corner signifying creation of the `False' branch of the CHTML.
5) Drop another primitive into the CHTML primitive, but outside the
boundary of the primitive contained in the `F' branch A `T' will
appear in the upper right corner representing the new `True' branch.
6) Add a data flow input line to the CHTML that will determine what
branch the CHTML will display during simulation.


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The interactive representation IRM now includes conditional HTML
logic that displays the `T' branch if the data flow input contains any value
other
than 0 (zero). Otherwise, the `F' branch is displayed.
The user can turn a CHTML primitive into integer mode to IRM more
than two display alternatives. To create an integer-mode CHTML primitive:
1) Drop a conditional HTML primitive into a page on the whiteboard.
2) Define a name for the CHTML primitive.
3) Click OK.
4) Add the first branch to the CHTML primitive by dropping a
primitive into the CHTML primitive. A `F' will appear in the upper
right corner signifying creation of the `False' branch of the CHTML.
5) Drop another primitive into the CHTML primitive, but outside the
boundary of the primitive contained in the `F' branch. A `T' will
appear in the upper right corner representing the new `True' branch.
6) Add a third branch by dropping another primitive into the CHTML
primitive but outside the existing branch. When this is completed,
the branch labels (in the upper right corner) will change from [T, F]
to [0,1,2], signifying that the CHTML is now in Boolean mode.
7) Repeat step 6 as necessary until CHTML branches represent all
logical display options.
8) Add a data flow input line to the CHTML that will determine what
branch the CHTML will display during simulation.
The interactive representation model IRM now includes display logic
that shows one of numerous branches depending on the VALUE of the
incoming data flow. If the value of the data flow is an integer value
corresponding to one of the CHTML branches, then that branch will be
displayed in simulation. If the value is null, 0 (zero) or anything else not
represented by the CHTML branches, then the 0 (zero) branch will be displayed
by default.
Using Dynamic Table Primitives
Dynamic Table primitives allow the user to create interactive
representations of lists of data, typically database-driven lists. In
simulation, a
dynamic table primitive appears as a table that contains one row for each data
token, or row, passed to it during the processing of the simulator. The column


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names shown in the interactive representation and the data to be displayed
from
each of the tokens of the dynamic table are defined by the primitives placed
in
the dynamic table.
Displaying Data in a Dynamic Table
The data tokens that are displayed in a dynamic table typically come
from a several actions related to each other using data flow. Typically these
actions are find and unpack. action chain. The data flow outputs from the
unpack action usually flow into the primitives contained in the dynamic table.
To create a dynamic table:

Add a dynamic table to a page in the IRM.

Put one primitive into the dynamic table to represent each column that
should appear in the interactive representation.

Connect data flow from an unpack action to one or more of the
primitives contained in the dynamic table.

Linking from a Dynamic Table
Dynamic table columns may be designated as sources of control flow,
allowing simulation users to click on a link in a row of data to navigate to
another page, as shown in Figure 22.. When navigation flow is established from
a primitive in a dynamic table, that link will be present on every row in the
simulated table. Dynamic tables also have a specialized feature that allows
the
user to IRM simulate the behavior of a subject application wherein a data
token
is selected from a dynamic table. When a user clicks on a link in a dynamic
table, the data token represented by the row containing the link is passed out
of
the dynamic table as output data flow, and used in subsequent processing.

Using Dynamic Tables for Batched Updates
Furthermore, dynamic tables can be used for batched updates. This
feature allows the user to simulate a common function of subject applications
wherein a editable list of data tokens is presented. To add this functionality
to
the IRM, the dynamic table must be contained in a form primitive and the
dynamic table receive data flow input from an unpack action. Furthermore, the
primitives contained within the dynamic table must be of the class user
interface
components - input tags. During simulation, when a button primitive that is


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contained in the same form as the dynamic table is clicked, all data tokens
containing the values entered by the simulation user are submitted to the
simulator for processing. Typically, in the context of using dynamic table for
batched updates, the contained primitives in the dynamic table are each
related
to an update action primitive, while the origin of the set of data tokens is
related
to the first input of the update action primitive. The specialized dynamic
table
processing in the simulator ensures that the appropriate data token(s) is(are)
updated by the update action primitive, . A typical usage of a dynamic table
in
this respect is shown in Figure 23
Using an Image Primitive
The image primitive allows the user to add images to the interactive
representation. The user can specify the source file for the image and connect
the image to other primitives with control flow. To add an image to the IRM:
1) Drop an image primitive into a page.
2) Name the image appropriately and set any other desirable
attributes.
3) Click on the `Set' image button.
4) In the file selection dialog, pick the image file you want to use in
the IRM and press Open.
5) Click OK.

Using Actions
As previously described, action primitives define how data will be
transformed, derived, stored, retrieved, sorted or otherwise manipulated by
the
interactive representation. In the preferred embodiment, actions include
typical
ways that computer systems manipulate data, and are not specific to any
particular computer programming language. The example illustrated in Figure
24 shows the user of a "text.add" action. The "text.add" action appends each
of
its inputs to each other, resulting in a single string containing the
characters
found in its inputs. Its function is similar to that of a concatenation
operator
found in conventional programming languages. In this case the text.add action
is being used to concatenate the first name provided by the simulation user
with
a space and the last name, also supplied by the user during simulation. The


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inputs to the action in this example are the are data flow connections labeled
firstName and lastName originating from text input primitives labeled
fnameInput and lnameInput respectively, and the unlabeled data flow
connection from the constant primitive labeled. When the user simulates the
page labeled "My Page, the page containing the text input primitives labeled
fnamelnput and lnameInput is presented to the user, whereupon they may enter
values into each of these fields and click the button primitive labeled "Go
Button." After the simulator completes processing the form submit that was
triggered when the user clicked the button, the values that were entered by
the
user are passed in the form of data tokens to the text.add action as described
above. The text.add primitive executes its internal concatenation routine and
returns a data token labeled fullName. Then the page labeled "My Page" is
redisplayed with the computed full name displayed at the text field labeled
"full
name."
Adding Decisions
Decisions define the conditional execution of other primitives. In the
preferred embodiment, decisions function in a manner similar to that of
"IF...THEN" and "CASE" statements found in conventional computer
languages. Alternatively, decisions could be based on other conditional or
branching structures found in conventional computer languages, or derived
from common behaviors found in conventional computer applications.
.For example, the following behavior could be represented by through
the use of a decision in an IRM:

If the subject application user has a savings account record,
clicking on, the `my account' link should cause the page named
My Account Home Page to be displayed by the subject
application, otherwise, the page named Account Registration
should be displayed.

Using a Decision Connected in Boolean Mode
Decisions process in either Boolean or integer modes, depending on the
number of control flow outputs that are connected to them int the IRM. A
decision with less than three control flow outputs evaluates in Boolean mode.
When connecting the control flow outputs, the first control flow connection


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made by the user designates the path of processing if the boolean data token
it
receives from its input data flow has the value of "False", whereas the second
connection made by the user designates the path of processing if the data
token
it receives from its input data flow has the value of "True." The example
illustrated in Figure 25 shows a decision named "Check Login Status" that
evaluates based on whether or not a profile data token is available in the
session
as follows:
If there is any profile data object in session, then the decision evaluates
to true and the simulator's processing follows the `T' branch, and hence, the
My
Account Page constructed by the simulator and returned to the user for
display.
If there is no profile data token in session, then the decision evaluates to
false
and the simulator's processing follows the `F' branch, and, hence, the Login
Page is displayed.
Using Decision Connected in Integer Mode
. A decision with three or more control flow outputs evaluates in integer
mode. An integer navigation decision evaluates on the integer value of the
data
flow input. If the value of the data flow input is null or anything other than
the
integers specified by navigation flow output labels then the navigation flow
defaults to follow the `0' branch. The example illustrated in Figure 26 shows
a
decision named "access level check" that evaluates based on the access Level
data token of the profile data token stored in session, as follows:
If the access level data token contains a to 0, 1, or 2, then the simulator
will present the pages labeled "Access Level Zero", "Access Level One" or the
"Access Level Two," respectively.
Using Flow Filters
Interactive representation Flow filters help control the whiteboard area
by allowing the user to show and hide various interactive representation
primitives and flow lines. Model filters can be applied to the entire
whiteboard
using the options available in the view main menu option. The user can also
apply filters to selected primitives using filter buttons in the toolbar area,
with
six such buttons included in the preferred embodiment having the names and
functions listed in Table XI, below. This allows the user to show and hide
flow


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lines and primitives that directly related to the selected primitives. To
apply the
filters available in the toolbar:
1) Select the primitive(s) to apply the filter to. The filters act
recursively on containers and applies to all of the contents of the
selected container as well.
2) Select the filter button to apply from the six buttons shown
below in Table XI:

Table XI - Model Filters
Button Description

Show all This model filter button exposes all primitives that are
inbound sources for data flow or navigation flow that lead to the
primitives selected primitives.

Show all This model filter button exposes all primitives that are
outbound destinations for data flow or navigation flow that lead from the
primitives selected primitives.

Show all This model filter button exposes all the flow lines that
inbound lead to the selected primitives as well as all the primitives that
flows and are the sources for these flow lines.
primitives
Hide all This model filter button hides all the flow lines that lead
inbound to the selected primitives.
flows
Show all This model filter button exposes all the flow lines that
outbound lead from the selected primitives as well as all the primitives
flows and that are the destinations for these flow lines.
primitives
Hide all This model filter button hides all the flow lines that lead
outbound from the selected primitives.
flows and
primitives


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Collapsing and Expanding Containers
As an interactive representation model grows, the value of whiteboard
real estate increases. Collapsing and expanding containers allows the user to
minimize the amount of whiteboard space occupied by the user's pages. To
collapse a container:
Double click on a container name. This collapses an expanded container.
Collapsed containers only display their italicized primitive name. The
contents
of the container and the flow lines leading in and out of the container are
hidden
from the whiteboard view.
Double-clicking on the italicized name of a collapsed container will
expand the container to its previous state, showing all of its contents.
Hiding Interactive Representation Primitives
Similar to collapsing and expanding containers, any interactive
representation primitives can be suppressed from the whiteboard view using the
show and hide options available in the right-click menu. To hide a primitive,
right click on the element to hide and select Hide from the menu options.
Whenever a container directly contains a hidden primitives, the container name
becomes italicized. Double-clicking on an italicized primitives name exposes
its
hidden relationships. Additionally, the user can select `Show All' from the
View main menu option to show all hidden primitives across the entire
whiteboard.
Finding Primitives in the Whiteboard
The user can search the whiteboard area to find primitives based on
name. To find an element in the whiteboard:
1) Press Ctrl-F or select Find from the edit menu.
2) In the find dialog, enter the text to search for.
3) Click OK to search for a primitives name that contains the given
text.
4) Optionally click F3 to `find next.'
Locking Primitives
When a primitive is locked, the user can view the primitives and its
properties, but can't modify it. The user who locked the primitives is allowed
to
unlock it. However, if another user locked the primitives, then only that may


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unlock it. Locking and unlocking are applied recursively to containers.
Therefore, if a user locks a container primitive, for example, a table, form,
or
page, all the contents of that container are also locked. The same rule
applies to
the unlock operation except that primitives that were locked by another user
will remain locked. To lock a primitive:
1) Right click on the primitive to lock.
2) Select `Lock' from the context menu.
To unlock a primitive:
1) Right click on the primitives to unlock.
2) Select `unlock' form the context menu. If unlock is not available,
then the primitives was probably locked by another user.
Selecting Multiple Primitives
Selecting multiple primitives allows the user to apply most whiteboard
operations, for example, copy, move and hide, or to edit primitives properties
simultaneously. To select multiple primitives on the whiteboard, the user can
use the lasso or Ctrl-left-click. Use the lasso to select multiple primitives
by left
clicking on the gray area of the whiteboard and dragging the mouse to create a
rectangle that contains the desired primitives. Alternatively, hold down the
Ctrl
key while clicking on the primitives to be selected.
Centering on Pages
The user may quickly scroll the whiteboard coordinates to focus on a
particular page by using the `center on' feature. To center on a page:
1) Right click on the page name in the project browser page list.
2) Select `center on' from the context menu.
Simulating Pages from the Studio Client Application
The user can use the `Simulate' toolbar button or the right click menu to
simulate a particular page from the Studio application. To use the toolbar:
1) Select the page to be simulated by clicking on the bar, colored
blue in the preferred embodiment, at the top of the page in the
whiteboard.
2) Click on the `Simulate' button in the toolbar area. The selected
page will be simulated on the user's browser.


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Using the Property Editor
Properties allow the user to control the details of any primitives. The
property editor allows the user to adjust these properties, making the
interactive
representation model more realistic. The property editor pane is displayed on
the right side of the Studio application window. The user can drag the left
border to adjust the width. When a primitives in the whiteboard is selected,
the
properties for that element will be displayed in the property editor pane. If
the
user would rather use the property editor pop-up, F7 is pressed to toggle
between pane and pop-up modes. In pop-up mode, the user can access the
properties for a primitive by selecting the Properties option from the right
click
menu or by shift-right-clicking on a primitives, as shown in Figure 37.
Using the Project Browser
With reference to Figure 38, the user can use the project browser to
access the list of requirements and the interactive representation model pages
for the current application. The tabs at the top of the project browser can be
used to switch between lists. The user can use F5 to toggle the project
browser
between on and off. Common activities executed in the project browser area
include:

1) Simulating a Page
2) Centering the whiteboard on a page
3) Associating requirements to primitive
4) Finding requirements associated to a primitive
5) Filtering the requirements list.
Simulating a Page from the Project Browser
To simulate a page in project browser:
1) Click on the Pages tab in the project browser
2) Right click on the page to be simulated
3) Select `Simulate' from the context menu.

Centering the Whiteboard on a Page from the Project Browser To center
the whiteboard on a particular page:
1) Click on the Pages tab in the project browser
2) Right click on the page to be centered


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3) Select `Center On' from the right click menu
The whiteboard will automatically scroll to center on the selected page.
Associating Requirements to Primitives
A requirement is typically associated to a primitive when the
requirement describes a needed or desired behavior of the subject application
that the primitive represents in the interactive representation model. This
association controls the presentation of requirements in the simulation Meta
mode as well as their inclusion and placement on the functional specification
report. This association is reflected on both the Meta mode page and the
functional specification report through the use of automatically generated
superscript numbers, as was previously described. To create an association
between a requirement and a primitive:
1) Click on the Requirements tab in the project browser
2) Click on the desired requirement, using the (+) symbol to expand
the parent classifications if necessary.
3) Right click on the primitive to be associated with the
requirement.
4) Select Associate from the context menu.
To remove an association between a requirement and a primitive:
1) Click on the Requirements tab in the project browser
2) Click on the desired requirement, using the (+) symbol to expand
the parent classifications if necessary.
3) Right click on the primitives to be associated with the
requirement.
4) Select Associate from the context menu.

Finding Requirements Associated to a Primitives
To find the requirements associated to a particular primitive:
1) Click on the Requirements tab in the project browser
2) Check the checkbox labeled "for selected objects only"
3) On the whiteboard, click the primitives of interest
The requirements tab will only display the requirements associated to
the selected primitives.


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Finding Primitives Associated to a Requirement
To find the primitives associated to a particular requirement:
1) Click on the Requirements tab in the project browser
2) Right click on the requirement that of interest
3) Pick `Find Associated' from the context menu.
The whiteboard will highlight and center on the first primitives that is
associated to the requirement. If there is more than one primitives associated
to
the selected requirement, pressing F3 will find `find next'.

Filtering the Requirements List
The filters under the List main menu option allow the user to filter the
requirement list according to the Modeled attribute. To filter out
requirements
that are not modeled:
1) Click on List in the main menu
2) Uncheck the "not modeled" option
To filter out requirements that are modeled:
1) Click on List in the main menu
2) Uncheck the "modeled" option

While the present invention has been described in connection with what
is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it
is
to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed
embodiments, but to the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications
and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit of the invention, which
will be set forth in claims in a corresponding utility application and to be
accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications
and equivalent structures.

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2011-03-08
(86) PCT Filing Date 2002-07-26
(87) PCT Publication Date 2003-02-06
(85) National Entry 2004-01-22
Examination Requested 2007-07-11
(45) Issued 2011-03-08

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

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Description Date Amount
Last Payment 2018-07-04 $450.00
Next Payment if small entity fee 2019-07-26 $225.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2019-07-26 $450.00

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

  • the reinstatement fee set out in Item 7 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules;
  • the late payment fee set out in Item 22.1 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules; or
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Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Filing $400.00 2004-01-22
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2004-07-26 $100.00 2004-07-15
Registration of Documents $100.00 2004-12-02
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2005-07-26 $100.00 2005-06-06
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2006-07-26 $100.00 2006-06-09
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2007-07-26 $200.00 2007-06-05
Request for Examination $800.00 2007-07-11
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2008-07-28 $200.00 2008-06-09
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2009-07-27 $200.00 2009-06-11
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2010-07-26 $200.00 2010-06-03
Final Fee $720.00 2010-12-16
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 9 2011-07-26 $200.00 2011-06-08
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 10 2012-07-26 $250.00 2012-06-14
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 11 2013-07-26 $250.00 2013-06-12
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2014-07-28 $250.00 2014-07-09
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2015-07-27 $250.00 2015-07-01
Registration of Documents $100.00 2015-11-03
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2016-07-26 $250.00 2016-07-06
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2017-07-26 $450.00 2017-06-28
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 16 2018-07-26 $450.00 2018-07-04
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
IRISE
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
ALDAMA, PAUL
AMDOUR, LEON
BRICKLEY, STEPHEN
FAN, BRIAN
INFANTE, DOMINIC
KRAVETS, ALEX
LARKING, STUART
MARTIN, MAURICE
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Assignment 2004-01-22 4 131
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